Osteoporosis is associated with poor dietary habits. Malnutrition is characterized as a deficit on the intake of necessary nutrients that are essential for optimal health maintenance. It is known that malnutrition during the lactation period can affect the offspring. The present study aims to evaluate the chronic effects caused by maternal energy-protein restriction during lactation period in the offspring. At parturition, Wistar rat dams were divided in three groups: (1) Control group (C) - which received a 23 % protein diet without restrictions; (2) Protein-Energy restriction group (PER)- which received a 8 % protein diet; (3) Energy restriction group (ER) - which received a 23 % protein diet in limited amounts, according to the ingestion of the second group. Each group had 12 pups. After weaning, all pups received free access to a 23 % protein diet until 180 days and then were euthanized. Their femur was excised, decalcified, histologically processed and analyzed under a microscope. The measurements of the osteon lacunae on the C, ER and PER groups were, respectively: 2.1 μm, 10.9 μm and 14.7 μm (p<0.05). A poor ingestion of proteins and calories during lactation period provoked critical and permanent changes on the bone matrix of the femur, which simulated osteoporosis.
KEY WORDS: Bone remodeling, Bone matrix, Undernutrition, Osteoporosis, Wistar rats.