Aspirin and Bone – Can Aspirin Help Prevent Bone Fractures?

December 23, 2016

Lin S, et al. 2016: Aspirin prevents bone loss with little mechanical improvement in high-fat-fed ovariectomized rats.

A texture image depicting bone structures Inflammation may increase the risk of bone fractures. Might aspirin, an anti-inflammatory, be able to help?

Bones are made up of an organic fiber called collagen and a crystal called calcium hydroxyapatite, which is made up of calcium, fluoride, sulfate, and other minerals. This combination makes bones sturdy and resistant to breakage.

The proportions of minerals and collagen vary with age and gender, and bones constantly renovate and change themselves, carefully maintaining the balance they need. Diseases, medications, and other physical conditions – including inflammation – can damage this balance, leading to an increased risk of fractures. This condition is called osteoporosis. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but older women are especially at risk.

A study in the European Journal of Pharmacology looked at whether low-dose aspirin could help prevent osteoporosis, or at least reduce the rates of fractures. This study used female rats that were fed a high fat diet, which is known to interfere with bone growth. The rats were then given small, regular doses of aspirin, at about the rat equivalent to a daily low-dose aspirin.

Aspirin treatment was found to significantly prevent bone loss in the rats, increasing the relative levels of calcium in the bones. But this did not make the rat’s bones less prone to fracture, and may also weaken the bone’s mechanical properties.

So, might aspirin be able to help prevent osteoporosis? Not according to this study, but further investigation is warranted.

The study can be found Here
Lin S, et al. 2016
Aspirin prevents bone loss with little mechanical improvement in high-fat-fed ovariectomized rats.,
European Journal of Pharmacology, Vol 791 p 331-338

Other References

National Osteoporosis Foundation. What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It?
Accessed via: on December 21, 2016

OpenStax. Anatomy and Physiology, Chapter 6,
Accessed via: on December 12, 2016

University of Washington Web Server. Bone Structure.
Accessed via on December 21, 2016