Resveratrol supplementation preserves long bone mass, microstructure, and strength in hindlimb-suspended old male rats

J Bone Miner Metab. 2014 Jan;32(1):38-47. doi: 10.1007/s00774-013-0469-2. Epub 2013 May 19.


Resveratrol has gained popularity as an "anti-aging" compound due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Few studies have investigated the role of resveratrol supplementation in the prevention of age-related bone loss and skeletal disuse despite increased inactivity and age-related bone loss in the elderly. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of resveratrol supplementation on disuse and age-related bone loss. Old (age 33 months) Fischer 344 × Brown Norway male rats were provided either trans-resveratrol (12.5 mg/kg bw/day) or deionized distilled water by oral gavage for 21 days. Rats were hindlimb-suspended (HLS) or kept ambulatory (AMB) for 14 days. Both femora and tibiae were collected. Bone mass was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and bone microstructure was determined by micro-computed tomography. HLS of old male rats accelerated loss of bone mineral content, decreased trabecular bone volume per unit of total volume, and increased trabecular separation. Resveratrol supplementation ameliorated bone demineralization and loss of bone microarchitecture in HLS old male rats. The peak force measured by the three-point bending test was reduced (P = 0.007) in HLS/control compared to AMB/control rats. Resveratrol supplementation ameliorated HLS-induced loss of femur strength. Plasma osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase was higher (P < 0.04) and C-reactive protein was lower (P = 0.04) in old male rats given resveratrol. The bone protective effects of resveratrol appeared to be mediated through increased osteoblast bone formation, possibly due to reduced inflammation. Based on the results, resveratrol supplementation appeared to provide a feasible dietary therapy for preserving the skeletal system during disuse and age-related bone loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / drug effects
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Femur / anatomy & histology
  • Femur / drug effects
  • Femur / physiology
  • Hindlimb Suspension / physiology*
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Osteocalcin / blood
  • Rats
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / administration & dosage*
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Tibia / anatomy & histology
  • Tibia / drug effects
  • Tibia / physiology
  • Walking


  • Biomarkers
  • Stilbenes
  • Osteocalcin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Resveratrol