Osteoporosis is a significant health concern for the elderly; conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to improve overall bone mass when calcium is included as a co-supplement. However, potential effects of CLA and calcium on bone mass during a period of bone loss have not been reported. The purpose of this study was to determine how dietary calcium modulates the effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in preventing bone loss, using an ovariectomised mouse model. CLA supplementation significantly prevented ovariectomy-associated weight and fat mass gain, compared to non-supplemented controls. CLA significantly increased bone markers without major changes in bone mineral composition in the femur compared to respective controls. CLA treatment increased serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) significantly (p=0.0172), while serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 concentration was not changed by CLA. Meanwhile, CLA significantly reduced femur tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity, suggesting potential reduction of osteoclastogenesis. The data suggest that CLA, along with dietary calcium, has great potential to be used to prevent bone loss and weight gain associated with menopause.
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