Human lactation: forearm trabecular bone loss, increased bone turnover, and renal conservation of calcium and inorganic phosphate with recovery of bone mass following weaning.
Kent GN, Price RI, Gutteridge DH, Smith M, Allen JR, Bhagat CI, Barnes MP, Hickling CJ, Retallack RW, Wilson SG
The calcium (Ca) metabolism of established human lactation was studied in 40 adult women (mean age 32.4 years) who had been breast-feeding for 6 months (Lac) and in 40 age-matched controls (Con) using fasting urine and blood biochemistry and forearm single-photon bone mineral densitometry (BMD). Serial studies were performed up to 6 months after weaning in Lac women and repeated once in Con women. During lactation the significant findings were (1) a selective reduction (7.1%, P less than 0.03) in BMD at the ultradistal site containing 60% trabecular bone, but not at two more proximal, chiefly cortical bone sites; (2) increased bone turnover affecting bone resorption [fasting hydroxyproline excretion, Lac 2.22 +/- 0.12 mumol/liter GF (mean +/- SEM), Con 1.19 +/- 0.04, P less than 0.001]and affecting bone formation (plasma alkaline phosphatase, Lac 81.9 +/- 2.5 IU/liter, Con 53.5 +/- 2.7, P less than 0.001, and serum osteocalcin, Lac 14.0 +/- 0.7 microgram/liter, Con 7.3 +/- 0.4, P less than 0.001); and (3) renal conservation in the fasting state of both Ca and inorganic phosphate (Pi) with a resultant moderate increase in plasma Pi but not in plasma Ca (total or ionized). There were no differences between the groups in serum parathyroid hormone (PTH,intact and midmolecule assays), 25-hydroxy- and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, nephrogenous cyclic AMP production, or plasma creatinine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia.