Short-term effects of egg shell powder enriched dairy products on bone mineral density

Based on the high calcium content, chicken egg shells are an interesting source of calcium. We studied the short-term effects on bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine and hip in 9 women and one man (mean age +/- SD, 63.9 +/- 8.1 years) with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Also the effects on pain and general well-being were monitored. Ten women (62.5 +/- 5.0 years) from a population study on BMD served as a control group. During a study period of 4-8 months, the intervention group consumed twice daily a dairy-based supplement which resulted in a daily intake of, among others, 3.0 g of egg shell powder, 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 400 mg of magnesium. BMD of the lumbar spine (anteroposterior (AP) and lateral (LA) position) and hip were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. After the intervention period, BMDs of the lumbar spine, total proximal femur and trochanter were significantly (p < 0.05) increased with (median) 4.4%: (range) 1.7 to 10.4% (lumbar spine AP), 5.7%: -1.3 to 15.9% (lumbar spine LA), 2.2%: -1.9 to 9.4% (total proximal femur), 1.8%: -1.8 to 9.0% (trochanter). Within a period of 4 months, an important reduction in pain was reported and as a consequence an improvement in general well-being. In the control group, BMDs of the lumbar spine AP and of the femoral neck significantly decreased over a period of 8 months with -0.7% (-1.3 to 0.2%) and -0.9% (-2.4 to -0.1%) respectively. Six women of the intervention group continued to use the supplement on their own free will and without any check on compliance, up to 24 months. They consumed the supplement only once daily except for the last three months when they were asked to take the double dosage again. After 24 months BMDs did not differ from baseline. This study shows that egg shell powder is a source of bioavailable calcium. Furthermore, this pilot study indicates that the chicken egg shell powder enriched dairy-based supplement increases BMD of subjects with a low bone mass in the short term and as a consequence delays bone demineralisation for a longer period.

Schaafsma, A. and Pakan, I. Short-term effects of a chicken egg shell powder enriched dairy-based products on bone mineral density in person with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Bratisl Lek Listy, (1999) 100:651-656.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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