Protection of trabecular bone in ovariectomized rats by turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) Is dependent on extract composition

Laura E. Wright, Jennifer B. Frye, Barbara N. Timmermann, Janet L. Funk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Extracts prepared from turmeric (Curcuma longa L., [Zingiberaceae]) containing bioactive phenolic curcuminoids were evaluated for bone-protective effects in a hypogonadal rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Three-month female Sprague-Dawley rats were ovariectomized (OVX) and treated with a chemically complex turmeric fraction (41% curcuminoids by weight) or a curcuminoid-enriched turmeric fraction (94% curcuminoids by weight), both dosed at 60 mg/kg 3×per week, or vehicle alone. Effects of two months of treatment on OVX-induced bone loss were followed prospectively by serial assessment of bone mineral density (BMD) of the distal femur using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), while treatment effects on trabecular bone microarchitecture were assessed at two months by microcomputerized tomography (μCT). Chemically complex turmeric did not prevent bone loss, however, the curcuminoid-enriched turmeric prevented up to 50% of OVX-induced loss of trabecular bone and also preserved the number and connectedness of the strut-like trabeculae. These results suggest that turmeric may have bone-protective effects but that extract composition is a critical factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9498-9504
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 8 2010


  • Curcuma longa L.
  • Turmeric
  • bone mineral density
  • bone μCT
  • curcuminoids
  • ovariectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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