The effect of a simultaneous dietary administration of xylitol and ethanol on bone resorption

Metabolism. 2005 Apr;54(4):548-51. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2004.11.011.


Our previous studies have shown that dietary xylitol supplementation diminishes bone resorption in rats, as well as protects against ovariectomy-induced increase of bone resorption during experimental osteoporosis. Interestingly, ethanol, when given simultaneously with xylitol, is known to increase blood concentration of xylitol. On the other hand, ethanol, when given alone, has been shown to increase bone resorption. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a simultaneous dietary administration of 10% xylitol and 10% ethanol on bone resorption. Bone resorption was determined using measurement of urinary excretion of hydrogen 3 (3H) radioactivity in 3H-tetracycline prelabeled rats. Already 4 days after the beginning of dietary supplementations, excretion of 3H was about 15% lower in the xylitol group (diet supplemented with 10% xylitol) and about 25% lower in the xylitol-ethanol group (diet supplemented with 10% xylitol and 10% ethanol) as compared to the controls. The excretion of 3H in these groups remained smaller than that of the controls throughout the entire study period of 40 days. The excretion of 3 H in the xylitol-ethanol group remained also smaller than that of the xylitol group. Bone mineral density and bone mineral content were determined with a peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) system from the rat tibiae at the end of the experiment. Trabecular bone mineral density and trabecular bone mineral content were significantly greater in the xylitol group and in the xylitol-ethanol group compared to the controls. They were also greater in the xylitol-ethanol group as compared to the xylitol group. Cortical bone mineral density and cortical bone mineral content did not differ significantly between the groups. In conclusion, a simultaneous dietary supplementation with 10% xylitol and 10% ethanol seems to diminish bone resorption and to increase trabecular bone mineral density and trabecular bone mineral content in rats. These effects seem to be stronger than the effects induced by 10% xylitol supplementation alone.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drug Interactions
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tetracycline
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tritium / urine
  • Weight Gain
  • Xylitol / administration & dosage*


  • Tritium
  • Ethanol
  • Tetracycline
  • Xylitol