Evaluation of the Prophylactic Effect of Fennel Essential Oil on Experimental Osteoporosis Model in Rats
The water-distilled essential oil of Iranian fennel seeds ( Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) was investigated for its composition and anti-osteoporotic activities in ovariectomized rat osteoporosis model. After oil analysis by GC/MS, 15 components were identified in the oil. Among them, trans-anethole (81.1%) and fenchone (9.2%) were the major components. Healthy female albino rats were divided into five groups of six animals each including sham operated (control), ovariectomized-vehicle and ovariectomized treated animals receiving fennel essential oil (FEO 500, 750, 1000 mg kg<sup>-1</sup>) or estradiol valerate (5 mg kg<sup>-1</sup>) for 30 days. The findings assessed on the basis of bone mineral density and uterine weight showed that the fennel essential oil has a preventive effect on development of osteoporosis in ovariectomized rats. This protective effect of FEO on early post-ovariectomy bone loss was dose dependent and at the dose of 1000 mg kg<sup>-1</sup> it was even more than estradiol (BMD of 0.082±0.008 g cm<sup>-2</sup>, p<0.05) but more toxic than other doses. Trans-anethole, probably has an important role in these pharmacological effects.