Skip to main content

Improved Bone Biomechanical Properties in Rats after Oral Xylitol Administration


The effects of 5, 10, and 20% dietary xylitol supplementations on the biomechanical properties, histological architecture, and the contents of collagen, pyridinoline, and deoxypyridinoline in long bones of rats were studied. Tibiae were used for the three-point bending test, and femurs were used for the torsion and loading test of the femoral neck. The 10 and 20% oral xylitol administrations caused a significant increase of tibial stress, femoral shear stress, and stress of the femoral neck as compared with the controls. Parallel, but not significant, effects were also seen in the 5% xylitol supplementation group. No significant differences in strain or Young's modulus of the tibiae were detected between the groups. An increased shear modulus of elasticity in femurs was detected in the 20% supplementation group as compared with the controls. The histomorphometrical data for the secondary spongiosa of the proximal tibia revealed that trabecular bone volume was significantly greater in all dietary xylitol supplementation groups as compared with the controls. The bone volume increased along with increasing xylitol content. No significant differences between the groups were detected concerning the amount of collagen per dry weight of organic matrix, the concentrations of pyridinoline or deoxypyridinoline in collagen, or the ratio of these crosslinks. This suggests no xylitol-dependent selective changes in these structures of bone collagen. In conclusion, dietary xylitol supplementation in rats improves the biomechanical properties of bone and increases the trabecular bone volume dose dependently.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information



Additional information

Received: 30 January 1997 / Accepted: 1 October 1998

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mattila, P., Knuuttila, M., Kovanen, V. et al. Improved Bone Biomechanical Properties in Rats after Oral Xylitol Administration. Calcif Tissue Int 64, 340–344 (1999).

Download citation

  • Key words: Dietary xylitol — Bone biomechanics — Bone trabeculation — Collagen — Pyridinium crosslinks.