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NIH/National Institute on Aging’s $3 Million R01 Grant Supports Study Evaluating Probiotic/Prebiotic Combination’s Impact on Maintaining Bone Health of Older Women

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08/31/2023
eurekalert.org

The NIH/National Institute on Aging has awarded a R01 $3 million grant to study the impact of a probiotic/prebiotic (synbiotic) medical food developed by Solarea Bio on maintaining bone health of older women. 

The study will support an 18-month clinical trial of a synbiotic medical food in 220 older women to test whether it maintains lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) with aging.

Grant recipients are Hebrew SeniorLife, USDA HNRCA at Tufts University, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, and Solarea Bio.

“There is an unmet need for safe and effective dietary interventions for the metabolic processes underlying bone loss,” said Dr. Shivani Sahni, PhD, who is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, associate scientist at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, and director of the Nutrition Program at the Marcus Institute.  “Current recommended strategies for maintenance of healthy bone mass are limited to consuming a diet rich in vitamins and minerals and performing weight bearing activity.”

“Osteoporotic fractures can have devastating health and economic consequences. Thirty percent of women will not survive the first year following a hip fracture, and in the United States 1.5 million fractures costs the healthcare system $17 billion annually,” said Dr. Clifford J. Rosen, MD, Maine Medical Center Research Institute.  “As our population ages and life expectancy increases, the burden of osteoporotic fractures will continue to rise without specific, safe, and effective ways to maintain bone mass with age.”

“The proposed study is significant because it will test the efficacy of the synbiotic medical food, SBD111, to maintain bone density with age,” said Dr. Eric Schott, co-founder and COO, Solarea Bio.  “It also will provide the mechanistic insights leading to strategies for the dietary management of the metabolic processes underlying osteopenia and osteoporosis.”

“Osteoporotic fractures result in more hospitalizations than heart attacks, strokes, and breast cancer combined and cause severe pain, long-term disability, and early death,” said Douglas P. Kiel, MD., MPH, director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “The projected increase in age-related osteoporotic fractures is estimated to be more than 48% between 2005 to 2025 with direct costs exceeding $25 billion in 2025.”

Hebrew SeniorLife Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research investigators are Dr. Shivani Sahni, PhD (PI), Dr. Douglas P. Kiel, MD MPH (Co-I), and Dr. Thomas G. Travison (Co-I). Solarea Bio collaborators are Dr. Eric Schott, PhD (PI), and Dr. Gerardo V. Toledo, PhD (Co-I). USDA HNRCA at Tufts University collaborator is Dr. Paul F. Jacques, DSc (PI). Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI) collaborator is Dr. Clifford J. Rosen, MD (PI).

About the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research

Scientists at the Marcus Institute seek to transform the human experience of aging by conducting research that will ensure a life of health, dignity, and productivity into advanced age. The Marcus Institute carries out rigorous studies that discover the mechanisms of age-related disease and disability; lead to the prevention, treatment, and cure of disease; advance the standard of care for older people; and inform public decision-making.

About Solarea Bio 

Solarea Bio is a clinical stage biotechnology company based in Cambridge, MA mining the untapped microbial diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables to develop novel solutions for managing inflammatory diseases and enabling people to enjoy long, healthy lives. Solarea has built a best-in-class strain catalog of bacteria and fungi, a database of their genomes, and a computational platform to mine them to develop products across a range of categories including supplements, medical foods, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture.

About the USDA HNRCA

The Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, located in Boston, MA, is one of six human nutrition research centers supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is a bench-to-bedside research center that generates translational scientific results. It is run by a cooperative agreement between the USDA and Tufts University and is one of the largest research centers in the world studying nutrition and its relationship to healthy aging and physical activity.

About MaineHealth Institute for Research

MaineHealth Institute for Research supports and encourages a broad spectrum of research at MaineHealth ranging from basic laboratory-based research through translational research, which works to apply basic discoveries to medical problems, to clinical research, which studies the direct application of new drugs, devices and treatment protocols to patients, to health services research which seeks to use research methods to help improve and evaluate health care delivery programs and new technologies.

About Hebrew SeniorLife 

Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a national senior services leader uniquely dedicated to rethinking, researching, and redefining the possibilities of aging. Hebrew SeniorLife cares for more than 4,500 seniors a day across six campuses throughout Greater Boston. Locations include: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center-Boston and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center-NewBridge in DedhamNewBridge on the Charles, DedhamOrchard Cove, CantonSimon C. Fireman Community, RandolphCenter Communities of Brookline, Brookline; and Jack Satter House, Revere. Founded in 1903, Hebrew SeniorLife also conducts influential research into aging at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, which has a portfolio of more than $85 million, making it one of the largest gerontological research facilities in the U.S. in a clinical setting. It also trains more than 1,000 geriatric care providers each year. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit our website or follow us on our blogFacebookInstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.



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