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Using Fructus Ligustri Lucidi as a potential treatment for osteoporosis associated with estrogen reduction

Fructus Ligustri Lucidi (FLL), the ripe fruit of the Ligustrum lucidum Ait (glossy privet), has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for managing osteoporosis. In the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a study has provided scientific evidence on the effects of FLL on estrogen receptors in the femurs, tibias, and uteri, and uterus weight in ovariectomized mice.

  • Women are more at risk of developing osteoporosis than men due to estrogen deficiency after menopause. Estrogen enhances bone accrual through estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and estrogen receptor beta (Erβ).
  • Researchers at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine in China orally administered a dose of 3.5 grams of FLL per kilogram of body weight (g/kg) to ovariectomized mice for 12 weeks.
  • Then, they examined the mice’s serum levels of estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone.
  • Moreover, they used western blot analysis and immunohistochemical staining to analyze the expressions of ERα and Erβ in the femurs, tibias, and uteri.
  • Results revealed that the treatment of FLL did not increase relative uterus weight in ovariectomized mice, but increased the ERα expression in the femurs and tibias, and enhanced Erβ expression in the uteri of the mice. Despite that, the resulted expression of ERα was stronger than that of Erβ in mice.
  • In addition, although FLL treatment in ovariectomized mice increased their follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, it did not increase estrogen serum level.
  • These results indicated that FLL treatment might cause various effects on estrogen receptor expression in bones and uteri, which may improve uterus health during osteoporosis treatment.

Overall, the increases in ERα and Erβ expressions in the femurs, tibias, and uteri, and the coordination of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels in circulation due to FLL treatment may help treat osteoporosis associated with estrogen reduction.

For the full text of the study, go to this link.

Journal Reference:

Tang Y, Li C, Sun X, Liu Y, Wang X, Guo Y, Wang L, Ma R, Niu J, … Li Y. FRUCTUS LIGUSTRI LUCIDI MODULATES ESTROGEN RECEPTOR EXPRESSION WITH NO UTEROTROPHIC EFFECT IN OVARIECTOMIZED RATS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017; 17(541). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2171-3

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