Can an Herb Help Prevent Osteoporosis?

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In a study out of Hong Kong, researchers examined the effectiveness of the triple herb Bo-gu Ling (ELP) for post-menopausal women who had osteopenia. They set out to determine whether this herb could help prevent osteoporosis.

Results of their study were published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine in the article “An innovative herbal product for the prevention of osteoporosis.”

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 150 women who were between 40 and 60 years old.

These women were post-menopausal for at least 1 year, and their lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) was less than 0.891 g/cm2.

Study participants were divided into 2 groups: those treated with ELP and a placebo group (75 women were in each group).

For the purposes of this study, the primary endpoint was BMD of the lumbar spine, which was assessed at baseline—and then again at 6 months and 12 months after treatment.

The secondary endpoints were peripheral quantitative computed tomography measurements of the distal tibia and changes in quality of life (QOL).

The research team found that in those participants who were more than 10 years post-menopause, spine BMD in the ELP group increased by 0.69%. On the other hand, spine BMD in the placebo group decreased by 0.61% (p=0.067).

For the study participants in the ELP group who were more than 10 years post-menopause, their hip BMD increased by 0.21% compared with a decrease of 0.52% in hip BMD in the placebo group (p=0.159).

Researchers also found that the tibia strength-strain index increased by 1.94% in the ELP group compared with 0.33% in the placebo group (p=0.047).

In addition, they found that physical function of the SF-36 QOL questionnaire was remarkably improved compared with the baseline in the ELP group. However, it did not show dominance over the placebo group.

The research team concluded that the triple herb Bo-gu Ling showed potential benefit in improving overall BMD in women who were 10 years post-menopause.


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