In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), both velvet antlers (VA) and VA blood can tonify qi, essence, and marrow, nourish the blood, and invigorate bones and tendons. In TCM, the combination of VA and VA blood is believed to have superior pharmacological effects. Scientific evidence supporting the traditional therapeutic preference for redder antler is needed. The effectiveness of the combination therapy of VA middle sections (VAMs) and VA blood (VAM-B) was first examined in promoting proliferation of mouse osteoblastic cells (MC3T3-E1). The anti-osteoporotic activity of VAM-B (ratio of VAM:VA blood = 1:0.2) was evaluated with ovariectomized (OVX) rats at a dose of 0.2 g/kg. In VAM-B-treated OVX rats, the body weight decreased 10.7%, and the strength of vertebrae and the femur respectively increased 18.1% and 15.4%, compared to the control. VAM-B treatment also recovered the estrogen-related loss of the right tibial trabecular bone microarchitecture. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) significantly decreased, but estradiol did not significantly change in serum of VAM-B-treated OVX rats. We also provide an effective strategy to enhance the anti-osteoporotic activity of VAM. In conclusion, our results provide scientific evidence supporting the traditional therapeutic preference of redder antler and indicate that VAM-B is a potential therapeutic agent for managing osteoporosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas