Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the potential protective effect of Sideritis euboea extract (SID), commonly consumed as "mountain tea," on bone mineral density (BMD) and the strength of the ovariectomized (OVX) rat model of osteoporosis.
Methods: Thirty-two 10-month-old Wistar rats were separated into controls (sham operated), OVX, and OVX plus SID in their drinking water (dose, 330 mg/kg body weight per day), starting immediately after OVX for 6 months. Tibial BMD at baseline and at 3 and 6 months post-OVX, three-point-bending of the femur, and body and uterine weight at the study end were examined.
Results: BMD percentage change from baseline of the whole tibia was similar in control and OVX + SID rats at 3 months (-3.02% vs -4.67%, P = not significant), revealing a strong osteoprotective effect. At 6 months, the corresponding changes were -6.02% versus -14.37%, P < 0.05, indicating a greater bone loss in treated rats, albeit significantly less than the OVX change (-20.46%; OVX vs OVX + SID, P < 0.05). The proximal (metaphyseal) tibial BMD percentage change from baseline to 3 and 6 months between the OVX and OVX + SID groups (-26.47% vs -15.57% and -31.22% vs -16.57%, respectively) was statistically significant, demonstrating that SID preserved the proximal tibial BMD of the OVX + SID group significantly. Three-point-bending showed a significant increase in the treated compared with the OVX groups. Body and uterine weights were similar in the OVX and treated groups.
Conclusions: SID significantly protected tibial bone loss and improved femoral biomechanical strength in OVX + SID rats compared with OVX rats.