Objective: Caffeic acid, predominantly as esters linked to quinic acid (chlorogenic acids), is a phenolic acid present at high levels in coffee. The aim of the study was to investigate effects of caffeic and chlorogenic acids on the skeletal system of female rats with normal estrogen levels and estrogen-deficient.
Materials and methods: Caffeic acid (5 and 50 mg/kg p.o. daily) and chlorogenic acid (100 mg/kg p.o. daily) were administered for 4 weeks to non-ovariectomized and bilaterally ovariectomized mature Wistar rats, and their effects were compared with appropriate controls. Moreover, estradiol (0.2 mg/kg p.o. daily) was administered to ovariectomized rats. Bone turnover markers, mass, mineralization and mechanical properties were examined.
Results: Although caffeic acid at a low dose exerted some unfavorable effects on the skeletal system, at high doses, caffeic and chlorogenic acids slightly increased mineralization in the tibia and improved mechanical properties of the femoral diaphysis (compact bone). Unlike estradiol, they did not counteract the worsening of the tibial metaphysis bone strength (cancellous bone) and increases in osteocalcin concentration induced by estrogen deficiency.
Conclusions: High doses of the phenolic acids slightly favorably affected the rat skeletal system independently of the estrogen status.