A little well known idea that I did not know about is from a grade school science project may give a proposed idea on how to reverse the bone ossification process to make the bones much more flexible and elastic for tensile loading leading to plastic deformation.
It involves the idea that if you take normal dried up bone (like from a cadaver) and put it into a vinegar solution the bones will actually eventually become like a hard rubber material.
- Source #1:Science Bob – Bend a Bone with Vinegar
- Source #2:Wiki Answers – Why does vinegar affect bone density?
- Source #3:EHow – Why Does Vinegar Soften Bones?
- Source #4:Yahoo! Answers – What happens if you soak bone in vinegar?
Implications For Height Increase:
I think at this point in the research it is critical that we figure out some way to make the bones easier to bend and stretch. The idea of soaking bones in acid to de-calcify them is a very interesting proposal for bone lengthening later.
From source #2, it seems that vinegar like most acids can dissolve the calcium crystals from insoluble into soluble. The chemical reaction that is shown is….
CaCO3 + 2CH3COO -> Ca(CH3COO)2 + H2O +CO2
From Source #2: Once paired with vinegar, the calcium takes on the form of calcium acetate, which is soluble, so the calcium is absorbed and able to be utilized by bone.
A second, lesser known reason, is that the main acid in vinegar, acetic acid, lowers the amount of phosphorus the body can absorb. Phosphorus is a strong acid from meats and beans and grains unlike the weak acid of vinegar. Normally a certain amount of calcium will cleave to a certain amount of phosphorus and they will cancel each other out. When vinegar gets involved, less calcium is needed to cancel out a greater proportion of phosphorus and therefore less phosphorus is absorbed. If too much phosphorus came through, calcium would have been taken from bone to neutralize it….This is one of the reasons a children’s bones grow so rapidly. Children have a high ratio of good bacteria in their colon that synthesize acetic, as well as lactic, and other acids from the fiber or lactose that is eaten. As we grow older we don’t eat the right foods to support these guys. On a side note, that is one of the reasons Honey is good for bones as well. It specifically feeds these guys and keeps them cranking out acetic acid….Finally, while an acid, vinegar is like fruit in that the end product is not an acid at all. Once all of these reactions take place, the end products as you can see above are water and CO2. We breath out the CO2 into the air and end up with a net positive of base.
Analysis: I don’t remember my organic chemistry studies that well but I will take a crack at the logic behind the answer given by this guy.
First, he made a mistake on the 2nd compound, which is supposed to be ascetic acid. All acids have a O-O-H ending, so the right answer to balance both sides of the chemical reaction accounting for each element is to change the CH3OO into CH3OOH.
2nd, the guy is saying that the ascetic acid will lower the amount of phosphorous the body will absorb. However we know that the calcium is combining with the phosphorous in the human’s body to make the calcium phosphate minerals. I also assume that when the speaker is talking about the body, they are talking about the blood stream. If the ascetic acid is indeed somehow lowering the amount of phosphate the body is absorbing, then there would be more phosphorous being pushed out of the blood stream, and ending up in the bone matrix. If this is happening, then I would say that the bones would actually be getting stronger. More phosphorous, meaning more calcium phosphates, which are the hydroxyapatite, means the bones should get stronger and tougher, not the other way around.
He is right that the calcium cleaves to a phosphorous, but they don’t actually cancel each other out. The calcium somehow binds to the phosphorous forming a stable hard mineral. If that is what the guys means by “canceling each other out” then okay, that makes some sense.
The thing is that we do need phosphorous to make the bones hard. Maybe what the guy means is that the ascetic acid is keeping the phosphorous from binding to the calcium. If that is what the guy means, then that would make sense. the phosphorous can’t join together with the calcium to make the hard minerals, making the bones softer. However, all of this is assuming that when he is talking about phosphorous absorption, he is not referring to the blood which is what I assumed in the beginning, but actually by the calcium element.
From source #3: The acetic acid of the vinegar will dissolve the calcium carbonate in the bones.
Analysis: It is interesting that again the people who are answering the question about how vinegar can rubberize bones keep saying that it is calcium carbonate that is reacting with the ascetic acid. However I am guess that it is the calcium phosphates that are the real reagent here. Let’s remember what we learned about the real calcium minerals that make the bones hard. It is the hydroxyapatites, calcium phosphates. Source 3 is good in showing that there is actually two main components that give the bones their hardness…
1. the collagenous material that gives the bones high tensile strength and make them flexible.
2. the calcium based mineral crystals which are inorganic, non living that is embedded all throughout the bone extracellular matrix. The calcium minerals gives the bones an extremely high compressive strength.
- So calcium carbonate is… Ca5(PO4)3(OH
- and calcium phosphate is… Ca5(PO4)3(OH
So my real question is what is the ascetic acid of the vinegar really reacting to? and also, what is really giving the bones their hardness and strength?
The people who are giving answers on how vinegar can de-ossify say that the CH3OOH is reacting with calcium carbonate, but I am guessing that the real calcium mineral the acid is reacting with is calcium phosphate. The calcium mineral is obviously being broken down/dissolved by the acid in some way.
In the end, we could just say that from elementary grade school science projects, the bones do indeed lose their hardness and strength becoming almost elastic. This is what is important.
We have a very cheap, read at hand way to possibly de-ossify the bones to a level of elasticity where stretching the bones becomes a possibility.
So is there something that I can propose right now like a easy to make device we can put around our leg bone to make them softer for stretching? I don’t have anything right now but it should not be that hard to create a device we can either stick, glue, or embed to the surface of a bone to make it weaker. The fact is that the upper/proximal epiphysis of our tibia is right by the skin.
A band with vinegar inside which we can insert through the skin to the bones will be easy thing to invent.