(NaturalNews) Consumption of red grapefruit pulp may increase bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, according to a study conducted by researchers from Texas A&M University and published in the journal Nutrition.
Researchers castrated 42 male rats as a way to induce oxidative stress and to increase the risk of osteoporosis. One-third of the rats were then fed a normal diet, one-third were fed the same diet plus 5 percent red grapefruit pulp, while the final third were fed the same diet plus 10 percent red grapefruit pulp.
After 60 days, the castrated rats on the normal diet showed significant decreases in antioxidant status, bone mineral content and bone quality when compared with 14 uncastrated male rats. They also demonstrated increased calcium loss and higher levels of urinary deoxypyridinoline, a marker of bone breakdown.
Decreased bone mineral content and bone quality are markers of a heightened risk of osteoporosis, as are increased calcium loss and higher urinary deoxypyridinoline concentrations.
Among the castrated rats whose diet was supplemented with grapefruit, urinary deoxypyridinoline levels were lower than in the other castrated rats. While all the castrated rats underwent decreases in the magnesium and calcium content of their bones, this decrease was not as severe among the rats in the grapefruit pulp group.
Among the castrated rats not fed grapefruit pulp, lumbar calcium and magnesium levels decreased 16 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Among the rats in the experimental group, however, the respective decreases were only 10 and 16 percent. Likewise, femoral calcium and magnesium levels dropped by 7 percent each among the non-grapefruit group, but only 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in the grapefruit pulp groups.
The effects of grapefruit pulp were found to be dose-dependent.
An estimated 75 million people in Europe, Japan and the United States suffer from osteoporosis. Four times as many women are affected as men.