Effect of diets varying in nitrogen or phosphorus content on indicators of bone growth in lambs

Dennis Scott, N Loveridge, L Nicodemo, William Buchan, John Milne, Alexander Duncan, Phyllis Nicol, Simon Robins

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Growing lambs were fed diets low in nitrogen and phosphorus (LNLP), low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus (LNHP), high in nitrogen and low in phosphorus (HNLP) or high in nitrogen and phosphorus (HNHP) and the effects on bone growth and on blood and urinary bone marker levels or excretion rates were monitored. Plasma calcium concentrations were higher, and phosphorus concentrations lower, in lambs fed the low phosphorus diets but there were no differences in plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-3 (1,25(OH)(2)D-3) concentrations. Lambs Fed both low phosphorus diets (LNLP and HNLP) had lower plasma osteocalcin and higher bone-specific alkaline phosphatase concentrations than those fed the high phosphorus diets. Urinary pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline excretion were also affected by treatment, with their rates of excretion being highest in lambs fed the diet low in both nitrogen and phosphorus (LNLP). Lambs fed the low phosphorus, diets were lighter in weight at. slaughter and had lighter bones that were less well mineralized than those fed the high phosphorus diets. Reducing the nitrogen content of the diet appeared to have little effect on bone composition. These results suggest that bone markers that have proved useful in the diagnosis and treatment of bone disease are sensitive to variation in nutrient supply and may prove useful in the early detection of nutrient deficiencies that affect bone growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997



Cite this

Scott, D., Loveridge, N., Nicodemo, L., Buchan, W., Milne, J., Duncan, A., Nicol, P., & Robins, S. (1997). Effect of diets varying in nitrogen or phosphorus content on indicators of bone growth in lambs. Experimental Physiology, 82(1), 193-202.