Background: Calcitonin has an important role in the treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis. The authors investigated the effect of calcitonin administration or calcitonin administration supplement with a diet rich in collagen proteins on markers of bone metabolism.
Methods and results: A group of 108 patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis (BMD lower than 80% of the BMD in premenopausal women) was treated with Calsynar (Rhoune Poulenc-Rorer), 100 u., i.m. twice a week for 24 weeks. Forty-nine of these women took an oral collagen hydrolysate, 10 g per day, for the same period of time. Before and after termination of treatment clinical and laboratory tests were made, X-ray examination of the LS spine and the right forearm, single-photon osteometry of the right forearm and urinary excretion of pyridinoline (UPD), deoxypyridinoline (UDPD) and hydroxyproline (Uhyp) was assessed. As a result of treatment the BMD values increased only insignificantly (by 1.8%) the UPD values declined (to 62.51%) and those of UDPD (to 70.4%), as compared with basal values. The statistical significance is at the 1% level. When collagen proteins were administered concurrently, the decline was more marked (to 56.22% and 56.1% resp.), and as compared with the calcitonin treated group (to 67.73% and 82.30% resp.); the difference is significant at the 5% level. The decline of UPD and UDPD values persisted also three months after discontinued treatment; in patients on the diet with collagen hydrolysate practically no rise of these indicators occurred (54.02% and 56.66% resp.).
Conclusions: a) administration of 100 u. calcitonin twice a week for 24 weeks led to a decline of excretion indicators of bone collagen breakdown products, b) the effect of treatment must be monitored using these indicators, c) oral administration of collagen proteins enhanced and prolonged the effect of calcitonin.