Bone composition and histology of young growing rats fed diets of varied calcium bioavailability: Spinach, nonfat dry milk, or calcium carbonate added to casein

C. A. Peterson, J. A.C. Eurell, J. W. Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bone composition and histology were evaluated in young growing rats fed nutritionally complete but calcium-restricted (0.15%) diets in which calcium was derived from spinach, nonfat dry milk (NFDM), or CaCO3 added to casein. Groups of male weanling rats were pair-fed for 28 d. A 0.5% calcium casein- based diet group fed ad libitum was included to provide a comparison of normal bone structure and composition. Bone growth and bone ash were depressed in spinach-fed rats. Total bone tibia calcium in 0.5% calcium casein-based, 0.15% calcium casein-based, NFDM and spinach diet groups were 64.0, 29.2, 30.7 and 13.8 mg, respectively. All other measured bone mineral levels were also lower, except for potassium. Femur hydroxyproline concentrations were 1.2, 1.6, 1.6 and 2.1% in 0.5% calcium casein-based, 0.15% calcium casein-based, NFDM and spinach diet groups, respectively. Bone histomorphometry indicated gross under-development and compromised mineralization of trabecular bone of spinach-fed rats. For the first time, it has been demonstrated with histologic techniques that calcium from the low bioavailable source, spinach, compromises both the quantity and quality of bone. In contrast, when calcium is fed to growing animals at levels below the National Research Council requirement but from a highly bioavailable source (i.e., NFDM and CaCO3), there is only a reduction in bone quantity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume122
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

Keywords

  • bioavailability
  • bone
  • calcium
  • histology
  • rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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