The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of green tea extract (GTE) intake on bone structural and physiological properties, such as bone mass, trabecular bone microarchitecture, cortical bone geometry, and bone mechanical strength, in growing rats. Four-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into the following four groups: standard diet feeding for 85 days (S-CON) or 170 days (L-CON), and GTE diet feeding for 85 days (S-GTE) or 170 days (L-GTE). At the end of the experiment, in addition to measurement of circulating bone formation/resorption markers, bone mass, trabecular bone microarchitecture, and cortical bone geometry were analyzed in the left femur, and bone mechanical strength of the right femur was measured. There was no difference in all bone parameters between the S-CON and S-GTE groups. On the other hand, the L-GTE group showed the decrease in some trabecular bone mass/microarchitecture parameters and no change in cortical bone mass/geometry parameters compared with the L-CON group, and consequently the reduction in bone weight corrected by body weight. There was no difference in bone formation/resorption markers and bone mechanical strength between the S-CON and S-GTE groups and also between the L-CON and L-GTE groups. However, serum leptin levels were significantly lower in the L-GTE group than in the L-CON group. Thus, the long-term GTE intake had negative effects on bone, especially trabecular bone loss and microarchitecture mal-conformation, in growing rats.
Keywords: Bone mechanical strength; Cortical bone geometry; Green tea extract; Growing rats; Trabecular bone microarchitecture.