Effect of chitooligosaccharides on calcium bioavailability and bone strength in ovariectomized rats

Life Sci. 2006 Jan 25;78(9):970-6. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2005.06.006. Epub 2005 Aug 30.


Chitosan polymer with deacetylation degree of 93% was hydrolyzed with an endo-type chitosanase (35,000 U/g protein) with substrate to enzyme ratio of 1 to 1.5 for 18 h in a batch reactor, and then the resultant hydrolysates were fractionated into four different molecular weights using an ultrafiltration (UF) membrane reactor system. An in vitro study elucidated that four kinds of chitooligosaccharides (COSs) could efficiently inhibit the formation of insoluble calcium salts in the neutral pH. In vivo effects of COSs on Ca bioavailability were further studied in the osteoporosis modeling rats induced by ovariectomy and concurrent low calcium intake. During the experimental period corresponding to the menopause with the osteoporosis disease, calcium retention was increased and bone turnover was decreased by COS IV supplementation in the ovariectomized (OVX) rats. After the low Ca diet, COS IV diet including both normal level of calcium and vitamin D significantly decreased calcium loss in feces and increased calcium retention compared to the control diet. The levels of femoral total calcium, bone mineral density (BMD), and femoral strength were also significantly increased by the COS IV diet in a similar level to those of CPP diet group. In the present study, the results proved the beneficial effects of low molecular chitooligosaccharide (COS IV) in preventing negative mineral balance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium / pharmacokinetics*
  • Calcium Phosphates / chemistry
  • Calcium, Dietary / pharmacology
  • Chitosan / chemistry
  • Chitosan / pharmacology*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Femur / drug effects
  • Femur / metabolism
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Oligosaccharides / chemistry
  • Oligosaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Ovariectomy*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Ultrafiltration


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Chitosan
  • Calcium