The present study was undertaken to examine the effects of an oil extract of garlic on the in vivo intestinal transference of calcium, and also to verify its role in maintaining the bone mineral content and bone tensile strength in an ovariectomized rat model of osteoporosis. The results suggest that, in this experimental model, oil extract of garlic promotes intestinal transference of calcium by modulating the activities of both intestinal alkaline phosphatase and Ca(2+) activated ATPase. Also the observed low bone mineral content and low bone tensile strength in these rats were significantly restored by garlic oil supplementation. Further, garlic oil supplementation was able to revive partially the bilateral ovariectomy-induced decrease in the serum estrogen titer. The serum parathyroid hormone level, however, was found unaltered in these rats. The garlic oil supplemented partial recovery in serum estrogen titer in bilaterally ovariectomized rat was found to be persistently associated with enhanced calcium transference and better preservation of bone mineral content. The results of this study propose that the phytoestrogenic efficacy of an oil extract of garlic prevents ovarian hormone deficiency induced bone mineral loss possibly by promoting intestinal transference of calcium through the partial revival of the serum estrogen titer.
Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.