The Role of Osteocalcin in Health and Longevity

Written by Dr. Chris Smith, Updated on December 22nd, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes

You've probably never heard of Osteocalcin. It's not high on the list of well-recognized hormones like Testosterone, Estrogen, and Human Growth Hormone. In the coming years, that will likely change, however.

As researchers learn more about this hormone, they theorize exciting new opportunities to improve health and wellness. There is hopeful evidence that treatments derived from Osteocalcin will help patients preserve both body and mind as they get older.

What Is Osteocalcin?

Osteocalcin is a protein that's abundant in bone tissue and also acts as a hormone. At first, it was hypothesized that Osteocalcin played a role in bone remodeling, but lab experiments proved that this was not the case. Researchers were surprised to discover that Osteocalcin had substantial effects on cognition and body fat composition.

In animal studies, mice bred without Osteocalcin performed worse on cognitive tasks and had higher levels of blood glucose.

This discovery eventually changed how doctors and scientists think about the skeletal system, proving that it was an active contributor to normal physiological function rather than a passive structure.

Osteocalcin and the Aging Process

We all know that preserving bone health is an essential aspect of aging gracefully. Our bones lose density as we get older, increasing the risk of osteoporosis, fractures, and breaks.

Osteocalcin also remains critical as we get older. It's strongly believed that declining Osteocalcin levels contribute to cognitive decline and memory issues. It's also suspected to be one of the reasons why our muscles get weaker as we get older, along with declining Testosterone Levels. 

Osteocalcin is also important because it helps regulate the production of other hormones. It helps keep the whole system running smoothly.

It's involved in energy production during exercise, and it encourages the release of crucial neurotransmitters associated with energy.

Osteocalcin Therapy May Help Reverse or at Least Ameliorate Aging

The same researchers that first discovered the function of Osteocalcin are still doing important work. Today, researchers are investigating the use of Osteocalcin Therapy as an anti-aging tool.

This research is still in laboratory-phase, but there are certainly some promising results. In mice, it appears that Osteocalcin injections help protect cognition, muscle mass, and exercise capacity.

One of the best ways to keep Osteocalcin Levels elevated is through regular exercise. Regular exercise keeps pumping Osteocalcin into the bloodstream, which is strongly believed to have a protective effect upon cognitive health and energy levels.

It's hypothesized that this increase in Osteocalcin availability is a key reason why older folks that exercise have a lower risk/severity of cognitive decline. It's also believed that maintaining an active lifestyle during youth continues to pay dividends throughout the lifespan.

Osteocalcin-Based Drugs Expected for Use in Future Therapies

In the not-so-distant future, the power of Osteocalcin and other Hormones produced by bone tissue will become an important tool in the Anti-Aging arsenal.

Today, researchers are working on creating a medication that stimulates the production of Osteocalcin, as well as synthetic variants of Osteocalcin with a half-life sufficient to provide real and affordable benefits to patients.

Scientists are also evaluating the effects of other bone-based hormones such as DPP4.

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