BACKGROUND: The present study examined the effect of intermittent fasting (IF) on bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) and the markers of bone remodeling in a glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIO) rat model.
METHODS: Forty male rats were allocated to 4 groups (N=10 per group): control group of normal rats; control+IF group (normal rats subjected to IF for 16-18 hr daily for 90 days); dexamethasone (DEX) group: (DEX [0.5 mg i.p.] for 90 days); and DEX+IF group (DEX and IF for 90 days). By the end of the experiment, BMD and BMC in the right tibia were measured. Serum levels of the following were measured: glucose; insulin; triglycerides (TGs); total cholesterol; parathyroid hormone (PTH); osteoprotegerin (OPG); receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANK); bone-resorbing cytokines, including bone deoxypyridinoline (DPD), N-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I (NTX-1), and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRAP-5b); and bone-forming cytokines, including alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin (OC).
RESULTS: DEX administration for 90 days resulted in significantly increased serum levels of glucose, insulin, TGs, cholesterol, PTH, OPG, DPD, NTX-1, and TRAP-5b and significantly decreased BMD, BMC, and serum levels of RANK, OC, and ALP (all P<0.05). IF for 90 days significantly improved all these parameters (all P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: IF corrected GIO in rats by inhibiting osteoclastogenesis and PTH secretion and stimulating osteoblast activity.