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Posted: December 09, 2008

Grapefruit Pulp May Reduce Osteoporosis Risk: Study

 Consumption of red grapefruit pulp may increase bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, according to a study reported in the journal Nutrition.

According to the journal article, researchers from Texas A&M University castrated 42 male rats as a way to induce oxidative stress and to increase the risk of osteoporosis. One-third of the rats were then fed a normal diet, one-third were fed the same diet plus 5% red grapefruit pulp, while the final third were fed the same diet plus 10% red grapefruit pulp.


At the end of 60 days, the castrated rats on the normal diet showed significant decreases in antioxidant status, bone mineral content and bone quality when compared with 14 male rats that had not been castrated. They also exhibited higher calcium loss and increased levels of urinary deoxypyridinoline, which is a chemical marker of bone breakdown.


Experts look for decreased bone mineral content and bone quality, increased calcium loss and higher urinary deoxypyridinoline concentrations in determining whether someone is at a heightened risk of developing osteoporosis.


Among the castrated rats whose diet was supplemented with grapefruit, urinary deoxypyridinoline levels were lower than in the other castrated rats. While all the castrated rats showed decreased magnesium and calcium content of their bones, the rats that consumed grapefruit pulp as part of the test experienced a lower decrease in these minerals.


The Texas research team also found that among castrated rats that had not been fed grapefruit pulp, lumbar calcium and magnesium levels decreased 16% and 24%, respectively. Meanwhile, among the rats in the experimental group, the respective decreases were considerably lower – 10% and 16%. Likewise, femoral calcium and magnesium levels each dropped by 7% in the non-grapefruit group, but only 1%-3%, respectively, in the groups that consumed grapefruit pulp.


Overall, the effectiveness of grapefruit pulp in testing was influenced by the amount of dosage test rats received, the researchers noted.

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