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8th Combined Meeting Of Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS)



Arginine supplementation is helpful in treatment of osteoporosis.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a short-lived free radical involved in several biological processes as a bioregulator and as a second messenger. It inhibits osteoclastic bone resorption in vitro and regulates bone remodeling. Zolendronic acid has been established as a treatment for post menopausal osteoporosis. Study was done to compare the efficacy of Nitic oxide donor (L-arginine) with that of Zolendronic acid for the treatment of osteoporosis.


The study was not designed to compare these two drugs against a placebo, because the beneficial effects of Zolendronic acid in treatment of osteoporosis are well established. Institutional Review Board approvals were obtained. One hundred patients of osteoporosis having T score of −2.5 or more, were randomised to receive L-arginine) or Zolendronic acid. All patients received 1.0 g of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D supplementation per day. In addition Group I patients received L-arginine (2 gm.) per day while Group II patients received zoledronic acid 5 mg i.v. over 15 min. Patient were followed at regular intervals clinically, by biochemical investigations and at one year for DEXA scan.


Patients in both groups improved clinically and bio-chemically over one year period.

T score on DEXA scan at one year showed improvement in bone density. Average pretreatment T score was −3.65 in group I and −3.52 in group II. At one year followup average T score was −2.9 in group I and −2.6 in group II. Difference was not statistically significant.


Oral administration of L-arginine in pharmacological doses induces growth hormone and insulin like growth factor-1 responses and stimulates nitric oxide synthesis. Growth hormone and insulin like growth factor-1 are important mediator of bone turnover and osteoblastic bone formation. While nitric oxide is potent inhibitor of osteoclastic bone resorption because of this dual effect on physiological regulator of bone remodeling. L-arginine could potentially increase bone formation over bone resorption and consequently increase bone mass. Oral supplementation of L-arginine may be novel strategy in prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.