Nebot E, Erben RG, Porres JM, Femia P, Camiletti-Moiron D, Aranda P, Lopez-Jurado M, Aparicio VA. - 45179 N - Food Funct 2014 ; in press.

Effects of the amount and source of dietary protein on bone status in rats

This study examined the effects of the dietary amount and source of protein on bone status in rats. 140 male Wistar rats aged 8 weeks were randomly allocated to 4 groups (n = 35) fed normal-protein (NP, 10% richness) or high-protein (HP, 45% richness) diets based on whey protein (WP) or soy protein (SP) sources for 12 weeks. Plasma urea was 46% higher for the HP compared to the NP diet (p < 0.001). Urinary calcium was 65% higher for the HP compared to the NP and 60% higher for the WP compared to the SP diets (all, p < 0.001). Urinary pH was 8% more acidic in the HP compared to the NP diet (p < 0.001) and 4% in the WP compared to the SP diet (p < 0.01). The plasma osteocalcin concentration was 19% higher for the NP compared to the HP (p < 0.05) and 25% for the SP compared to the WP diets (p < 0.01). Femur ash, metaphyseal and diaphyseal cross-sectional, trabecular and cortical areas were 3% higher in the HP compared to the NP diet (all, p < 0.05). Femur diaphyseal periosteal and endocortical perimeters were also 3% higher in the HP compared to the NP diet (both, p < 0.01). Groups fed the SP diet showed 2% higher femur ash percentage, 7% higher calcium content (both, p < 0.001), and 3% higher diaphyseal cortical area and thickness (both, p < 0.05) than those fed the WP diet. Some interactions were found, such as the greater effects of the SP diet on decreasing the higher plasma urea concentration promoted by the intake of the HP diet (p < 0.001). Under adequate Ca intake, HP diets could better maintain bone properties than NP diets, even with increasing some acidity markers, which could be reduced by the intake of SP sources.