Weight-bearing exercise does not prevent increased bone turnover during weight loss

Mar 11, 2010
In a new study, University of Missouri researchers found that weight-bearing exercise, in this case, fast walking or jogging, did not prevent the increased bone turnover caused by weight loss. Credit: MU

While there are many benefits of losing weight, weight reduction also might negatively affect bones in the body. During weight loss, bones are being remodeled - breaking down old bone and forming new bone - at an accelerated rate. As a result, bone density is reduced, causing increased fragility. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers found that weight-bearing exercise, in this case, fast walking or jogging, did not prevent the increased bone turnover caused by weight loss.

"Accelerated bone turnover is not favorable, but the potential negative consequences of increased bone turnover do not outweigh the numerous other health benefits of weight loss," said Pam Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. "Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D may minimize the reduction in during weight loss."

In the study, Hinton examined bone turnover markers in the blood of overweight, . These bone markers, which are released by the bone cells that are involved in bone breakdown and formation, are used as indirect indicators of bone remodeling. After six weeks, women who lost 5 percent of their body weight by adhering to a calorie-restricted diet and participating in weight-bearing exercise experienced an increase in bone turnover markers.

The researchers observed the same increase in markers among women who also lost 5 percent of their body weight by only or by dieting and participation in non-weight-bearing exercise. These findings indicate that low-impact, weight-bearing exercise, such as slow jogging, does not prevent the increase in bone turnover associated with modest weight loss.

"These findings should not affect the prescription for aerobic exercise during weight loss," Hinton said. "The rationale for recommending during is to increase and maintain lean body mass."

In previous studies, researchers found that weight-bearing exercise promotes bone building, which suggested that this type of exercise would prevent bone turnover in weight loss, Hinton said. Future studies will examine the ability of high-impact, weight-bearing exercise to maintain normal bone turnover during weight loss.

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More information: The study, "Serum markers of bone turnover are increased by modest weight loss with or without weight-bearing exercise in overweight premenopausal women," was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.

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mysticshakra
5 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
A better study would be to uise weight bearing exercises like barbell squats rather than running. The bones would likely have enough stress on them to stay stronger as the weight comes off. But it is a good way to show people not top become so heavy in the first place.
physpuppy
not rated yet Mar 11, 2010
@mysticshakra - exactly! When the article mentioned weight bearing exercises, I thought something a bit more intense than walking (!) and slow(!!!) jogging. If that is weight bearing exercise, what is non weight bearing exercise ?

Your suggestion of squats would be ideal - properly executed, it is one of the best overall exercises for building strength and burning calories. (Barbell - sure, but even bodyweight squats would be an improvement)

They might just be considering that:

Future studies will examine the ability of high-impact, weight-bearing exercise to maintain normal bone turnover during weight loss.


I think nutrition is another approach that they should include, but are they considering that?

"Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D may minimize the reduction in bone density during weight loss."


"May" - "may" - that's hand waving which may be correct or may be false. The only way to find out - why not put that into part of the research protocol

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