University of Oulu

Dietary xylitol in the prevention of experimental osteoporosis : beneficial effects on bone resorption, structure and biomechanics

Saved in:
Author: Mattila, Pauli1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: 1999
Publish Date: 1999-02-25
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Auditorium of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, on March 26th, 1999, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Doctor Mauri Hämäläinen
Docent Juha Tuukkanen


Dietary xylitol supplementation increases bone calcium and phosphorus concentrations in healthy rats, as well as protects against the decrease of bone minerals and bone density during experimental osteoporosis. This suggests that dietary xylitol might have a favorable effect on the prevention of osteoporosis. However, before any conclusions can be drawn about the usefulness of a compound, studies including structural evaluation and biomechanical testing of bones must first be performed.

Thus, the aim of the present study was to clarify whether dietary xylitol affects bone resorption, bone structure, and bone biomechanics in healthy rats, and whether dietary xylitol offers some preventive effects against the increased bone resorption, decreased bone trabeculation, and weakened bone biomechanical properties during experimental osteoporosis.

Dietary xylitol reduced bone resorption in 3-mo old healthy male rats, and protected significantly against the increase of bone resorption in 3-mo old ovariectomized rats, as measured by the urinary excretion of 3H following [3H]tetracycline-prelabeling. In addition, increased trabecular bone volume of proximal tibia in 4-mo old healthy male rats was detected after a 1-mo xylitol feeding period, and significant protection against the decrease of trabecular bone volume in 6-mo old ovariectomized rats was observed after a 3-mo xylitol feeding period. Furthermore, dietary xylitol increased the strength properties of long bones in 6-mo old healthy male rats after a 3-mo feeding period, without affecting the bone elastic properties as tested by three-point bending of tibia, torsion of femur, and loading of femoral neck. Accordingly, dietary xylitol protected significantly against the weakening of bone biomechanical properties in 6-mo old ovariectomized rats after a 3-mo feeding period.

In conclusion, the above results strongly support the hypothesis that oral administration of xylitol protects effectively against the progression of experimental osteoporosis. Dietary xylitol was effective both in increasing bone mass in healthy rats, and in preventing bone loss in ovariectomized rats, suggesting a favorable effect of xylitol on both main targets in the prevention of osteoporosis. As dietary xylitol was effective also in protecting against the experimental osteoporosis-caused changes in bone structure and weakening of bone biomechanical properties, oral xylitol administration seems to provide interesting possibilities when searching for new physiological choices for the prevention of osteoporosis.

see all

Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-5158-X
ISBN Print: 951-42-5150-4
Issue: 510
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 1999. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.