Osteoporosis and Oxidative Stress – Role of Antioxidants

  • Salah A. SheweitaEmail author
  • Khalid I. Khoshhal
  • Hussam H. Baghdadi
Reference work entry


Osteoporosis is a systemic metabolic bone disorder characterized by a decrease of bone strength with fragility fracture. There are only a few studies performed on oxidative stress as a risk factor linked to osteoporosis (OP). This chapter discusses the role of different factors involved in OP and in particular the role of oxidative stress (OS) in this disease. Moreover, our aim is extended to show the role of antioxidants in the prevention of OP. In general, many factors such as vitamin D, parathyroid hormones, genetic mutations in coding genes of vitamin D receptor and nitric oxide synthase, as well as environmental pollution with cadmium and/or polychlorinated biphenyls are involved in the development of OP. Mutations or polymorphism of nitric oxide (NO) synthase genes increase susceptibility of many subjects to OP through changes in both bone mass gain and regulation of signal factors involved in bone turnover. Moreover, NO itself changes bone remodeling signals and bone loss since administration of nitroglycerin and nitrates (NO donors) decreases bone resorption and increases both bone mineral density and bone formation through inhibition of the osteoclastic cells activities.

OS is generated as a result of excessive production of free radicals (FR) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which provoke oxidative damage to different biomolecules. Oxidative stress has been linked with aging and many other chronic degenerative diseases including OP. This damage can be counteracted by antioxidant systems which could be enzymatic or nonenzymatic. Administration of antioxidant vitamins has a remarkable influence in decreasing levels of OS and show a beneficial effect on bone quality in various experimental models. Bone healing was accelerated in patients with long-bone fractures after administration of multivitamins (Vitamin A, C, E) and selenium compared to those who did not receive any supplements through decreasing OS and free radical levels. Moreover, vitamin K, C, or B deficiencies are modifiable risk factors for OP. Therefore, improving antioxidant vitamins status could help in the treatment and prevention of OP especially in elderly people.


Antioxidants Free radicals Osteoporosis Oxidative stress Vitamins 



We are highly acknowledging Dr. Ahmad Hamouda on his efforts and critical revision of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salah A. Sheweita
    • 1
    Email author
  • Khalid I. Khoshhal
    • 2
  • Hussam H. Baghdadi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyInstitute of Graduate Studies & Research, Alexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedics, College of MedicineTaibah UniversityAlMadinah AlmmunawarahKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Biochemistry, College of MedicineTaibah UniversityAlMadinah AlmmunawarahKingdom of Saudi Arabia

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