Dietary supplementation with nacre reduces cortical bone loss in aged female mice.
Aging is associated with detrimental bone loss leading to fragility fractures in both men and women. Notably, a majority of bone loss with aging is cortical, as well as a large number of fractures are non-vertebral and at the non-hip sites. Nacre is a product of mollusks composed of calcium carbonate embedded in organic components. As our previous study demonstrated the protective effect of nacre supplementation on trabecular bone loss in ovariectomized rats, we sought to evaluate the effect of dietary nacre on bone loss related to aging in female mice which do not suffer true menopause as observed in women. The current study compared the effect of a 90-day long nacre-supplemented diet to that of Standard or CaCO3 diets on both bone mass and strength in 16-month-old C57BL/6 female mice. Multiple approaches were performed to assess the microarchitecture and mechanical properties of long bones, analyze trabecular histomorphometry, and measure bone cell-related gene expressions, and bone turnover markers. In the cortex, dietary nacre improved cortical bone strength in line with lower expression levels of genes reflecting osteoclasts activity compared to Standard or CaCO3 diets (p < 0.05). In the trabeculae, nacre-fed mice were characterized by a bone remodeling process more active than the other groups as shown by greater histomorphometric parameters and osteoblast-related gene expressions (p < 0.05). But these differences were not exhibited at the level of the trabecular microarchitecture at this age. Collectively, these data suggest that dietary nacre should be a potential candidate for reducing aging-associated cortical bone loss in the elderly.
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