Chinese Herbs and Bone Loss from Post Menopausal Osteoporosis

Two recent studies in China revealed that Chinese herbs for Bones – traditionally used as a kidney tonic – may in fact offer a therapeutic aid to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis.

The first trial, conducted at the Union hospital, Tongji Medical University in Wuhan, China. 34 patients participated in a double blind, controlled study. Seventeen post-menopausal women were given a Chinese herbal formula for bones and a further seventeen post-menopausal women were given calcium treatment and used as a control group. After three months, the results showed that 92% of the patients in the Chinese herb group had improved. Six months after the treatment the bone density of the lumbar vertebrae of 69% of the patients was significantly higher than before the treatment and the bone density of the control group was considerably lower.

The researchers concluded that Chinese herbs for bones could prevent and improve post-menopausal osteoporosis by improving bone formation and retarding the decline of bone density.

Similar results were found in a follow-up controlled study at the Tongji Medical University, Wuhan, China where 43 patients with menopause within a period of 5 years were randomly divided into two groups; one group to receive the Chinese herbal formulas for bones and the other used as a control group. The participants’ bone metabolism, serum estradiol and forearm bone density were taken before and after treatment. The results showed that five months after the treatment, the women in the treatment group showed improved bone mineral content whereas those women in the control group showed decreased mineral densities. Furthermore, the ratio of fasting urinary calcium and hydroxyproline to creatinine was lower than before the treatment and significantly lower than that of the control group. The researchers concluded that the study results indicate that the Chinese herbs was linked to a declining of bone mineral loss in post-menopausal women.

(1) Gui-zhi, Zhong-Lan, Zhou Yong et al. Cathay Herbal laboratories Newsletter Summer 1996. 5-6. (2) Shen Lin, jing-yuan, Yang jiayu et al. Xiehe Hospital, Tongji medical University, Wuhan China Cathay Herbal laboratories Newsletter Summer 1996 6