The severe impairment of bone development and quality was recently described as a new target for unbalanced ultra-processed food (UPF). Here, we describe nutritional approaches to repair this skeletal impairment in rats: supplementation with micro-nutrients and a rescue approach and switching the UPF to balanced nutrition during the growth period. The positive effect of supplementation with multi-vitamins and minerals on bone growth and quality was followed by the formation of mineral deposits on the rats’ kidneys and modifications in the expression of genes involved in inflammation and vitamin-D metabolism, demonstrating the cost of supplementation. Short and prolonged rescue improved trabecular parameters but incompletely improved the cortical parameters and the mechanical performance of the femur. Cortical porosity and cartilaginous lesions in the growth-plate were still detected one week after rescue and were reduced to normal levels 3 weeks after rescue. These findings highlight bone as a target for the effect of UPF and emphasize the importance of a balanced diet, especially during growth.
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- Growth plate
- Ultra-processed food