A western-style diet reduces bone mass and biomechanical bone strength to a greater extent in male compared with female rats during development.
Br J Nutr. 2003 Sep;90(3):589-95. PMID: 13129465
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E2, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
Evidence from epidemiological and animal-feeding trials suggests that a western-style diet that is high in fat, and low in Ca, vitamin D and folic acid may result in low bone mass and poor bone quality: this leads to an increased risk of fragility fracture. The overall objective of the present study was to determine the effect of feeding a western-style diet (low in Ca (0.4 g/kg diet, Ca:P ratio 1:10), cholecalciferol (3 microg/kg diet), folic acid (0.23 mg/kg diet) and fibre (20 g/kg diet), and high in fat (200 g/kg diet)) for 17 weeks on bone mineral content (BMC) and the biomechanical bone strength of rat femurs. A secondary objective was to determine whether femurs from male and female rats (seven to eight rats per group) respond differently to the western-style diet. Male and female rats weighing 150-180 g were fed a western-style diet or a control diet for 17 weeks. At the end of the feeding trial, femur BMC was measured by ashing, and biomechanical properties were determined by three-point bending. Femur BMC and the majority of biomechanical properties measured were lower (P<0.05) among male and female rats fed a western-style diet compared with a control diet, despite similar weight gain and final body weight within genders. However, the western-style diet had a greater negative effect on femur BMC and biomechanical strength properties among male rats compared with females. This may be because male rats experienced greater overall body growth, as assessed by weight gain, than female rats, and suggests that the nutrient composition of the western-style diet did not support the development of strong femurs.