1. Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2. Pharmaceutical Informatics Institute, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
3. Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Postmenopausal osteoporosis transpires due to excessive osteoclastic bone resorption and insufficient osteoblastic bone formation in the presence of oestrogen insufficiency. Kang Shuai Lao Pian (KSLP) is a red ginseng-based traditional Chinese medicine known for its anti-ageing properties. However, studies on its effect on bone loss are lacking. Thus, the current study examined the skeletal protective effects of KSLP in an ovariectomised rodent bone loss model. Three-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats (n=42) were randomised into baseline, sham and ovariectomised (OVX) groups. The OVX rats were supplemented with low- (KSLP-L; 0.15 g/kg), medium- (KSLP-M; 0.30 g/kg), high-dose KSLP (KSLP-H; 0.45 g/kg) or calcium carbonate (1% w/v). The daily supplementation of KSLP was performed via oral gavage for eight weeks. Gavage stress was stimulated in the ovariectomised control with distilled water. The rats were euthanised at the end of the study. Whole-body and femoral bone mineral content and density scans were performed at baseline and every four weeks. Blood samples were obtained for the determination of bone remodelling markers. Histomorphometry and biomechanical strength testing were performed on femurs and tibias. High bone remodelling typically due to oestrogen deficiency, indicated by the elevated bone formation and resorption markers, osteoclast surface, single-labelled surface and mineralising surface/bone surface ratio, was observed in the untreated OVX rats. Whole-body BMD adjusted to body weight and Young's modulus decreased significantly in the untreated OVX rats. High-dose KSLP supplementation counteracted these degenerative changes. In conclusion, KSLP improves bone health by normalising bone remodelling, thereby preventing bone loss and decreased bone strength caused by oestrogen deficiency. Its anti-osteoporosis effects should be validated in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Keywords: Traditional Chinese medicine, skeletal health, postmenopausal osteoporosis