Bath researchers: Calcium speeds up healing
Scientists from Bath and Bristol have discovered that calcium could speed up the healing process.
The team, made up of experts from the cities’ universities, were the first to find that the body uses calcium as the first step in repairing damaged tissue.
They believe the discovery could lead to new therapies being developed to speed up healing following injury or surgery. While studying the cellular processes in the body’s response to healing, the scientists discovered that a “flash” of calcium is the first trigger in the process.
Until recently little was known about the way damaged tissue attracts the first white blood cells to the wound to start its repair.
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But the West scientists have shown that the flash of calcium sends a signal to an enzyme that in turn attracts the white blood cells to the site of the wound, which are needed to kill off any invading microbes and to prevent the onset of septicaemia at the site of the tissue damage.
It is the first time that the wound-induced flash of calcium has been identified as the body’s earliest signal to repair damage, improving understanding of how to signal to immune cells to act quickly.