Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM

Preventive effect of crocin on osteoporosis in an ovariectomized rat model.

PMID 25202337


The purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effects of crocin on ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis in rats. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to a sham-operated group (sham) and five ovariectomy (OVX) subgroups, that is, OVX with vehicle (OVX), OVX with 17β-estradiol (E 2, 25 μg/kg/day), and OVX with graded crocin doses (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg/day). Daily oral administration of E 2 or crocin started 4 weeks after OVX and lasted for 16 weeks. Our results showed that crocin dose-dependently inhibited the BMD reduction of L4 vertebrae and femurs caused by OVX and prevented the deterioration of trabecular microarchitecture, which were accompanied by a significant decrease in skeletal remodeling as evidenced by the lower levels of bone turnover markers. Furthermore, crocin reversed the oxidative stress status in both serum and bone tissue. The present study indicates that the administration of crocin at higher doses over a 16-week period can prevent OVX-induced osteoporosis in rats without hyperplastic effects on the uterus, which may, at least partially, be attributed to crocin's antioxidative property. In brief, crocin is a natural alternative for postmenopausal osteoporosis treatment in elderly women.

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Crocin, for microscopy