Purpose: Collagen peptides (CPs) and calcium citrate are commonly used as bone health supplements for treating osteoporosis. However, it remains unknown whether the combination of oral bovine CPs with calcium citrate is more effective than administration of either agent alone.
Methods: Forty 12-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups (n = 8) for once-daily intragastric administration of different treatments for 3 months at 3 months after ovariectomy (OVX) as follows: sham + vehicle; OVX + vehicle; OVX + 750 mg/kg CP; OVX + CP-calcium citrate (75 mg/kg); OVX + calcium citrate (75 mg/kg). After euthanasia, the femurs were removed and analyzed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and micro-computed tomography, and serum samples were analyzed for bone metabolic markers.
Results: OVX rats supplemented with CPs or CP-calcium citrate showed osteoprotective effects, with reductions in the OVX-induced decreases in their femoral bone mineral density. Moreover, CP-calcium citrate prevented trabecular bone loss, improved the microarchitecture of the distal femur, and significantly inhibited bone loss with increased bone volume, connectivity density, and trabecular number compared with OVX control rats. CP or CP-calcium citrate administration significantly increased serum procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide levels and reduced serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and C-telopeptide of type I collagen levels.
Conclusions: Our data indicate that combined oral administration of bovine CPs with calcium citrate inhibits bone loss in OVX rats. The present findings suggest that combined oral administration of bovine CPs with calcium citrate is a promising alternative for reducing bone loss in osteopenic postmenopausal women.