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J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Mar;98(5):2027-2034. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8688. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

Fortified tuna bone powder supplementation increases bone mineral density of lactating rats and their offspring.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Center of Calcium and Bone Research, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.



Breastfeeding leads to bone calcium loss for milk production, resulting in progressive maternal osteopenia. Calcium supplement from natural sources has been postulated to be more beneficial to bone health than purified CaCO3 because natural sources also contain other nutrients such as certain amino acids that might enhance calcium metabolism. Herein, we examined the effect of calcium supplementation from tuna bone powder and CaCO3 on bones of dams and the offspring.


Both forms of calcium supplement, i.e. tuna bone powder and CaCO3 , increased maternal bone mineral density (BMD). However, bone histomorphometry revealed that only tuna bone had beneficial effect on maternal bone microstructure, i.e. increased bone formation, decreased bone resorption and increased in bone volume. Regarding the mechanical properties, the decreased ultimate load in non-supplement lactating mothers was restored to the load seen in nulliparous animals by calcium supplementation. Moreover, both tuna bone and CaCO3 supplementation in mothers led to increased milk calcium concentration and consequently increased BMD in the growing offspring.


Calcium supplement from tuna bone powder was effective in preventing maternal osteopenia. Tuna bone, which is a readily available fishing industrial waste, is a good alternative source of calcium supplement that increases BMD in both lactating mothers and the neonates. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.


bone histomorphometry; bone mechanical property; calcium supplementation; lactation-induced bone loss; micro-computed tomography; tuna bone

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