The preventive effect of beta-alanyl-L-histidinato zinc (AHZ) on the deterioration of bone metabolism was investigated in the femoral diaphysis of ovariectomized rats. AHZ (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg body weight/d) was orally administered to ovariectomized rats for 6 weeks. Ovariectomy produced a significant decrease in estradiol, calcitonin, calcium and inorganic phosphorus concentrations in the serum as compared with those from sham-operated rats. The dose of 30 and 100 mg AHZ/kg prevented any decrease in serum inorganic phosphorus concentration caused by ovariectomy. Alkaline phosphatase activity, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and calcium contents in the femoral diaphysis of ovariectomized rats significantly decreased in comparison with those from sham-operated rats. These decreases were completely prevented by the dose of AHZ (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg). Electron microscopical analysis showed a rough alteration of bone matrix in the femoral diaphysis of ovariectomized rats. This alteration was clearly modified by the doses of AHZ (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg). Also, dosages of AHZ (30 and 100 mg/kg) restored the atrophy of osteoblasts and cartilage cells caused by ovariectomy. The present study suggests that oral administration of AHZ can prevent the deterioration of bone metabolism by ovariectomy. AHZ may have a therapeutic role in the treatment of osteoporosis.