, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 38-47
Date: 19 Jan 2012

Effects of xylitol on the femur and mandibular bone in ovariectomized rats

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To examine the effects of oral xylitol administration on the femur and mandibular bone of ovariectomized (OVX) rats.


Forty 4-week-old female Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups of 20 each. One group was subjected to ovariectomy (OVX rats) and the other group to sham surgery (Sham rats). The sham and OVX rats were then subdivided into a group fed only a basal solid diet (n = 10) or a group fed the basal solid diet supplemented with 10% (w/w) xylitol (n = 10). After 40 days on each diet, the rats were tested for serum Ca concentration, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) concentration as biochemical markers. The morphological analysis involved evaluating the trabecular bone by microfocus X-ray computed tomography. For histological analysis, tissue samples were stained with hematoxylin and eosin.


Serum Ca concentration and ALP activity were lower in OVX rats than in Sham rats, and both recovered in rats fed the diet supplemented with xylitol. TRAP concentration was also lower in OVX rats, but decreased still further with xylitol supplementation. OVX rats had a lower bone density in the femur and mandibular bone than Sham rats, and the bone density increased with xylitol supplementation.


Taken together, these findings suggest that dietary oral xylitol administration may influence osteoclasts, with distinct changes in the trabecular bone pattern in the femur and slight changes in the mandibular bone in OVX rats.