Soy, dried plum reverse bone loss
CM NEWS – Scientists may have found a dietary solution to reverse bone loss. A recent study indicates that a combination of soy protein, dried plum and substances used in making artificial sweeteners can restore bone mass in ovarian hormone deficient rats.
A group of nutritional and osteoporosis scientists in the US have made this important discovery. As the dietary way of treating chronic diseases is growing more popular, the researchers want to find out if common dietary substances could help revert progress of osteoporosis.
The objectives of the current study were to evaluate the additive or synergistic effects of dried plum and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and to determine whether dried plum and FOS or their combination in a soy protein-based diet can restore bone mass in ovarian hormone deficient rats.
What are fructooligosaccharides? Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) refer to a class of non-digestible carbohydrates or sugars that occur naturally in a wide variety of foods throughout the plant kingdom. Since they are non-digestible, they pass through the human digestive virtually unchanged. When the FOS reach the colon, they are used by the good or beneficial bacteria found there (known as bifidobacteria or bifidus) for growth and multiplication. A healthy population of these beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract enhances the digestion and absorption of nutrients, detoxification and elimination processes, and helps boost the immune system.
Since FOS are non-digestible, they provide almost no calories and are thus used as substitute sweeteners. FOS have approximately one-half the sweetness of sugar. They are also being added to a variety of food products because they provide a combination of sweetness and low calories plus the additional health benefits that have been mentioned. Although FOS occur naturally in many foods, a large proportion of these products are now synthesized commercially.
In this study, 72 3-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into six groups and either ovariectomized (whose ovaries have been surgically removed) or sham-operated (sham). The rats were maintained on a semipurified standard diet for 45 days after surgery to establish bone loss.
Thereafter, the rats were placed on one of the following dietary treatments for 60 days:
- casein-based diet
- soy-based diet or soy-based diet with dried plum
- combination of dried plum and FOS
Results show that soy protein in combination with the test compounds significantly improved whole-body bone mineral density (BMD). All test compounds in combination with soy protein significantly increased femoral BMD but the combination of soy protein, dried plum and FOS had the most pronounced effect in increasing lumbar BMD.
Similarly, all of the test compounds increased ultimate load, indicating improved biomechanical properties. The positive effects of these test compounds on bone may be due to their ability to modulate bone resorption and formation, as shown by suppressed urinary deoxypyridinoline excretion and enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity.