Dietary acidity is a likely contributor to the development of osteoporosis. Dietary acidosis in an ovine model has effects on trabecular bone that have been previously shown to mimic human osteoporosis. Effects on cortical bone using this model have not been investigated. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of dietary acidosis on cortical bone mineral density and material properties. Skeletally mature ovariectomized (OVX) sheep consumed either a normal diet (ND) or a metabolic acidosis diet (MA) for 6 or 12 months. Whole femoral and cortical bone beam BMD was determined using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Beams were then subjected to three point flexure monotonically to failure to determine strength and modulus and then ashed to determine percent mineralization. Femoral BMD in adult OVX ND 6 mo sheep was significantly greater than those in the non-OVX ND group. The BMD in the MA groups was lower than the control non-OVX ND group. Cortical beams had significantly decreased modulus in all MA and OVX groups when compared with the non-OVX ND group and a tendency towards decreased strength in all groups with significance only in the OVX ND 6 mo sheep. Percent mineralization increased in MA and OVX groups when compared to the non-OVX ND group and was significantly increased in the OVX ND 6 mo and OVX MA 12 mo groups. A significant correlation was seen between BMD of the beam and breaking strength and modulus. Dietary acidity impacts cortical bone and results in reduced material properties that may contribute to failure.
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