Dietary ethanol does not accelerate bone loss in ovariectomized rats

L. S. Kidder, Russell T. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The abuse of alcohol is a behavior that can significantly compromise skeletal health. Because postmenopausal women are already at risk for low bone mass and osteoporotic fracture, this investigation sought to determine whether high concentrations of dietary ethanol exacerbate the bone loss associated with ovariectomy in rats, an animal model of human postmenopause. Six-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats were ovariectomized or sham-operated and randomly divided into groups fed a modified Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet isocalorically supplemented with 0%, 13%, or 35% ethanol (by daily caloric intake), for a period of 2 months. All animals were injected with fluorochromes at the start, 2 weeks, and 2 days before sacrifice to label mineralizing bone surfaces. At sacrifice, blood, uterus, and tibiae were harvested. No differences in serum calcium or cholesterol were found. Serum creatinine was also found to be unvaried, indicating this level of alcohol consumption did not compromise liver function. Dietary alcohol consumption at 35% of daily caloric intake was determined to increase tibial cortical medullary area and endocortical perimeter, while not affecting cortical area and periosteal perimeter. Ovariectomy significantly increased indices of bone turnover and resulted in cancellous bone loss, whereas alcohol consumption had no additional detrimental effects. This was a consistent pattern for other indices of proximal tibial architecture. In summary, this investigation has found that chronic ingestion of high concentrations of alcohol does not accentuate bone loss in ovarian hormone-deficient adult female rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2159-2164
Number of pages6
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Alcohol
  • Bone
  • Estrogen
  • Histomorphometry
  • Rat

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