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In the elderly, nutritional deficiencies, such as low energy and protein intake, are suggested to increase the risk of osteoporotic fractures. Modulation of the amount and quality of protein intake under energy deficient conditions represents an interesting strategy to prevent aged-related bone loss. We investigated the effect of a 5-month dietary restriction on bone status in 16-month-old male rats. Rats were randomised into six groups (n 10 per group). Control animals were fed a normal diet containing either casein (N-C) or whey protein (N-WP). The other groups received a 40 % protein and energy-restricted diet with casein or whey protein (PER-C and PER-WP) or a normal protein and energy-restricted diet (ER-C and ER-WP). Both restrictions (PER and ER) induced a decrease in femoral bone mineral density (BMD), consistent with impaired biomechanical properties and a reduced cortical area at the diaphysis. Plasma osteocalcin and urinary deoxypyridinoline levels suggested a decrease in bone turnover in the PER and ER groups. Interestingly, circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels were also lowered. Overall, normal protein intake did not elicit any bone sparing effect in energy-deficient rats. Regarding protein quality, neither casein nor WP appeared to significantly prevent the BMD decrease. This study confirms that nutritional deficiencies may contribute to osteopenia through decreased IGF-1 levels. Moreover, it seems that impaired bone status could not be significantly prevented by modulating the amount and quality of dietary proteins.
The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of olive oil and its main polyphenol (oleuropein) in ovariectomised rats with or without inflammation. Rats (6 months old) were ovariectomised or sham-operated as control. Ovariectomised rats were separated into three groups receiving different diets for 3 months: a control diet with 25 g peanut oil and 25 g rapeseed oil/kg (OVX), the control diet with 50 g olive oil/kg or the control diet with 0·15 g oleuropein/kg. The sham-operated group was given the same control diet as OVX. Inflammation was induced 3 weeks before the end of the experiment by subcutaneous injections of talc (magnesium silicate) in one-half of each group. The sucess of ovariectomy was verified at necropsy by the atrophy of uterine horns. Inflammation, oleuropein or olive oil intakes did not have any uterotrophic activity, as they had had no effect on uterus weight. The plasma concentration of α-1-acid glycoprotein (an indicator of inflammation) was increased in OVX rats with inflammation. With regard to bone variables, osteopenia in OVX was exacerbated by inflammation, as shown by a decrease in metaphyseal and total femoral mineral density. Both oleuropein and olive oil prevented this bone loss in OVX rats with inflammation. At necropsy, oleuropein and olive oil consumption had had no effect on plasma osteocalcin concentrations (marker of bone formation) or on urinary deoxypyridinoline excretion (marker of bone resorption). In conclusion, oleuropein and olive-oil feeding can prevent inflammation-induced osteopenia in OVX rats.
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