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Am J Chin Med. 2012;40(4):735-52. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X12500553.

Eucommia leaf extract (ELE) prevents OVX-induced osteoporosis and obesity in rats.

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Faculty of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Suzuka University of Medical Science, Mie, Japan.


The cortex of Eucommia ulmoides Oliver is widely used to treat kidney deficiency in traditional Chinese medicine. Its leaves have recently been reported to have anti-obesity properties in metabolic syndrome-like rat models. Due to a sharp decline in estrogen production, obesity, together with osteoporosis, are common problems in postmenopausal women. In this study, we examined the potential effect of Eucommia leaf extract (ELE) in preventing osteoporosis and obesity induced by ovariectomy (OVX). Forty-six female Wistar rats were divided into six groups: Sham-Cont, OVX-Cont, and four OVX groups administered estradiol and different concentrations of ELE 1.25%, ELE 2.5%, and ELE 5%. Treatments were administered after ovariectomy at six weeks of age and continued for 12 weeks. OVX induced a significant decrease in the bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar, femora, and tibiae, together with a marked increase in body mass index (BMI). The administration of 5% ELE led to a significant increase in tibial and femoral BMD, as well as significantly increased bone-strength parameters when compared with OVX-Cont rats. According to the suppressed Dpd and increased osteocalcin concentrations in ELE 5% rats, we suggest that varying proportions of bone formation and bone absorption contributed to the enhanced BMD in the femora and tibiae. In addition, significant decreases in body weight, BMI and fat tissue in 5% ELE rats were also observed. These results suggest that ELE may have curative properties for BMD and BMI in OVX rats, and could provide an alternative therapy for the prevention of both postmenopausal osteoporosis and obesity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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