Du-Zhong is one of the most important tonic herbs in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of bone fractures and other bone diseases. The present study examined whether Du-Zhong seed extract named total glycosides from Eucommia ulmoides seed (TGEUS) could display an increased effect on bone density and bone strength of the femur in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were used and randomly assigned to the normal group and the TGEUS group (400 mg/kg body weight/day). Daily oral administration of TGEUS was found to increase significantly the biomechanical quality of the femur. The mechanical changes were associated with a bone mineral density (BMD) increase or even with some improvements in microarchitecture. Micro-CT analysis of the distal femur showed that TGEUS significantly increased the bone volume/tissue volume (BV/TV), connectivity density (Conn.D), trabecular number (Tb.N) and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), and decreased trabecular separation (Tb.Sp) and the structure model index (SMI) in normal rats. To conclude, TGEUS taken orally increased bone density and altered bone histomorphology, suggesting that TGEUS might be a potential alternative medicine for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.