Category Archives: Weight-Bearing Exercise

Video: Dr. Hofflich “Osteoporosis Update 2013” – Stein Institute for Research on Aging

Here is a nice talk by Dr. Heather Hofflich from May 15, 2013. She’s an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSD. She gives an overview of osteoporosis and discusses the causes and therapies used to treat it. She also takes a look at recent controversies in treatment plans and vitamin usage.

One thing that bothers me about her talk is that she claims Teriparatide is the only thing in the world that builds bone by increasing osteoblast activity. I’ve posted many studies that found increases in osteoblasts from a variety of things. She also didn’t mention any other potentially helpful dietary supplements besides Calcium and Vitamin D. Like most MDs, she is probably unaware of anything that is not FDA approved.

Review: Milk + Resistance Training


Impact of milk consumption and resistance training on body composition of female athletes.

Resistance exercise (RE) preceding the provision of high-quality dairy protein supports muscle anabolism. Milk contains bioactive components, including two high-quality protein fractions, calcium and vitamin D, each of which has been shown modulate body composition (increasing lean mass and decreasing fat mass) under energy balance and hypoenergetic conditions. These dairy nutrients are also essential for skeletal health. Acutely, no study of RE and milk/whey consumption has been undertaken exclusively in female athletes, let alone women, nevertheless, studies with both men and women show increased lean mass accretion following milk/whey compared to soy/placebo. Currently, no longer-term RE studies with milk supplementation have been done in female athletes. However, trials in young recreationally active women demonstrated augmented increases in lean mass and decreases in fat mass with RE and milk or whey protein consumption. The amount of protein consumed post-exercise is also important; two trials using yogurt (5 g protein/6 oz) failed to demonstrate a positive change in body composition compared to placebo. For bone health, RE plus dairy improved bone mineral density at clinically important sites and reduced bone resorption. With energy restriction, in one study, higher dairy plus higher protein resulted in greater fat loss, lean mass gain and improved bone health in overweight women. In another study, milk and calcium supplementation showed no greater benefit. Neither trial exclusively utilized RE. Overall, RE and milk/dairy consumption positively impact body composition in women by promoting losses in fat, gains or maintenance of lean mass and preservation of bone. Future studies in female athletes and under energy restriction with RE alone are warranted.

Josse AR, Phillips SM
Med Sport Sci 2012
PMID: 23075559

A Positive Study on Vibration With or Without Exercise


Whole-body vibration effects on bone mineral density in women with or without resistance training.

Whole-body vibration exposure may translate into improved bone mass in young adult women. The primary focus of this study was to examine the effects of graded whole-body vibration or vibration exposure plus resistance training on bone mineral density (BMD), hematological measures for bone remodeling, and exercise metabolism in young women.
There were 51 healthy active women [mean (SD) age, 21.02 (3.39) yr; height, 165.66 (6.73) cm; body mass 66.54 (13.39) kg] who participated in the intervention. Subjects were randomly assigned to whole-body vibration (WBV), whole-body vibration plus resistance training (WBV+RT), or control (CONT) groups for 16 wk.
A repeated-measure ANOVA found no significant (P < 0.05) group differences in BMD at the completion of 16 wk. A significant within group change was apparent for the WBV (2.7% femoral neck) and WBV+RT (femoral neck 1.9%; vertebra 0.98%). WBV and WBV+RT experienced a significant (P < 0.05) 60% and 58% increase in adiponectin, 48% and 30% in transforming growth factor-beta1, and 17% and 34% in nitric oxide with an accompanying 50% and 36% decrease in osteopontin, 19% and 34% in interleukin-1beta, and 38% and 39% in tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
The results indicate graded whole-body vibration exposure may be effective in improving BMD by increasing bone deposition while also decreasing bone resorption. Whole-body vibration may also provide an efficient stratagem for young women to achieve peak bone mass and help stave off osteoporosis later in life and provide a novel form of physical training.

Humphries B, Fenning A, Dugan E, Guinane J…
Aviat Space Environ Med Dec 2009
PMID: 20027849

Alendronate Suppresses Bone Formation From Exercise in Rats


Cancellous bone formation response to simulated resistance training during disuse is blunted by concurrent alendronate treatment.

The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of simulated resistance training (SRT) exercise combined with alendronate (ALEN) in mitigating or preventing disuse-associated losses in cancellous bone microarchitecture and formation. Sixty male Sprague-Dawley rats (6 months old) were randomly assigned to either cage control (CC), hind limb unloading (HU), HU plus either ALEN (HU + ALEN), SRT (HU + SRT), or a combination of ALEN and SRT (HU + SRT/ALEN) for 28 days. HU + SRT and HU + SRT/ALEN rats were anesthetized and subjected to muscle contractions once every 3 days during HU (four sets of five repetitions, 1000 ms isometric + 1000 ms eccentric). Additionally, HU + ALEN and HU + SRT/ALEN rats received 10 µg/kg of body weight of ALEN three times per week. HU reduced cancellous bone-formation rate (BFR) by 80%, with no effect of ALEN treatment (-85% versus CC). SRT during HU significantly increased cancellous BFR by 123% versus CC, whereas HU + SRT/ALEN inhibited the anabolic effect of SRT (-70% versus HU + SRT). SRT increased bone volume and trabecular thickness by 19% and 9%, respectively, compared with CC. Additionally, osteoid surface (OS/BS) was significantly greater in HU + SRT rats versus CC (+32%). Adding ALEN to SRT during HU reduced Oc.S/BS (-75%), Ob.S/BS (-72%), OS/BS (-61%), and serum TRACP5b (-36%) versus CC. SRT and ALEN each independently suppressed a nearly twofold increase in adipocyte number evidenced with HU and inhibited increases in osteocyte apoptosis. These results demonstrate the anabolic effect of a low volume of high-intensity muscle contractions during disuse and suggest that both bone resorption and bone formation are suppressed when SRT is combined with bisphosphonate treatment.

Swift JM, Swift SN, Nilsson MI, Hogan HA…
J. Bone Miner. Res. Sep 2011
PMID: 21509821

Similar Results From Minimal vs. High Resistance Exercise in Rats


Increased training loads do not magnify cancellous bone gains with rodent jump resistance exercise.

This study sought to elucidate the effects of a low- and high-load jump resistance exercise (RE) training protocol on cancellous bone of the proximal tibia metaphysis (PTM) and femoral neck (FN). Sprague-Dawley rats (male, 6 mo old) were randomly assigned to high-load RE (HRE; n = 16), low-load RE (LRE; n = 15), or sedentary cage control (CC; n = 11) groups. Animals in the HRE and LRE groups performed 15 sessions of jump RE during 5 wk of training. PTM cancellous volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), assessed by in vivo peripheral quantitative computed tomography scans, significantly increased in both exercise groups (+9%; P < 0.001), resulting in part from 130% (HRE; P = 0.003) and 213% (LRE; P < 0.0001) greater bone formation (measured by standard histomorphometry) vs. CC. Additionally, mineralizing surface (%MS/BS) and mineral apposition rate were higher (50-90%) in HRE and LRE animals compared with controls. PTM bone microarchitecture was enhanced with LRE, resulting in greater trabecular thickness (P = 0.03) and bone volume fraction (BV/TV; P = 0.04) vs. CC. Resorption surface was reduced by nearly 50% in both exercise paradigms. Increased PTM bone mass in the LRE group translated into a 161% greater elastic modulus (P = 0.04) vs. CC. LRE and HRE increased FN vBMD (10%; P < 0.0001) and bone mineral content (∼ 20%; P < 0.0001) and resulted in significantly greater FN strength vs. CC. For the vast majority of variables, there was no difference in the cancellous bone response between the two exercise groups, although LRE resulted in significantly greater body mass accrual and bone formation response. These results suggest that jumping at minimal resistance provides a similar anabolic stimulus to cancellous bone as jumping at loads exceeding body mass.

Swift JM, Gasier HG, Swift SN, Wiggs MP…
J. Appl. Physiol. Dec 2010
PMID: 20930128 | Free Full Text

Aerobic and Resistance Exercise May Increase Bone Formation in Young Women


Influence of exercise mode and osteogenic index on bone biomarker responses during short-term physical training.

Prescribing exercise based on intensity, frequency, and duration of loading may maximize osteogenic responses in bone, but a model of the osteogenic potential of exercise has not been established in humans. In rodents, an osteogenic index (OI) has been used to predict the osteogenic potential of exercise. The current study sought to determine whether aerobic, resistance, or combined aerobic and resistance exercise programs conducted over eight weeks and compared to a control group could produce changes in biochemical markers of bone turnover indicative of bone formation. We further sought to determine whether an OI could be calculated for each of these programs that would reflect observed biochemical changes. We collected serum biomarkers [bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), osteocalcin, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), C-terminal telopeptide fragment of type I collagen (CTx), deoxypyridinoline (DPD), 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D), and parathyroid hormone (PTH)] in 56 women (20.3+/-1.8 years) before, during and after eight weeks of training. We also measured bone mineral density (BMD) at regional areas of interest using DXA and pQCT. Biomarkers of bone formation (BAP and osteocalcin) increased in the Resistance and Combined groups (p<0.05), while biomarkers of bone resorption (TRAP and DPD) decreased and increased, respectively, after training (p<0.05) in all groups. Small changes in volumetric and areal BMD (p<0.05) were observed in the distal tibia in the Aerobic and Combined groups, respectively. Mean weekly OIs were 16.0+/-1.9, 20.6+/-2.2, and 36.9+/-5.2 for the Resistance, Aerobic, and Combined groups, respectively. The calculated osteogenic potential of our programs did not correlate with the observed changes in biomarkers of bone turnover. The results of the present study demonstrate that participation in an eight week physical training program that incorporates a resistance component by previously inactive young women results in alterations in biomarkers of bone remodeling indicative of increased formation without substantial alterations in markers of resorption.

Lester ME, Urso ML, Evans RK, Pierce JR…
Bone Oct 2009
PMID: 19520194

45 Minutes of Resistance Exercise Reduces Resorption for 8 Hours


Acute effects of moderate intensity resistance exercise on bone cell activity.

Resistance exercise has positive effects on bone mass, but little is known about the mechanisms by which this occurs. The purpose of this study was to determine if a single bout of moderate intensity resistance exercise alters biochemical markers of bone cell activity. Indices of bone turnover were measured in nine healthy, untrained men (21.9 +/- 1.2 yrs old), before and following a single 45 minute session of resistance exercise, and during a control trial. A cross-over design was used so that all participants performed both trials in random order. Blood samples were collected immediately before, immediately after, and at 1, 8, 24, and 48 hours post exercise and analyzed for bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), type I collagen propeptide (PICP), and type I collagen N-telopeptide (sNTX). Urine from the second morning void was collected over four days (day before, day of, and two days following exercise) and analyzed for type I collagen N-telopeptide (uNTX). Exercise resulted in a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the ratio of biochemical markers of bone formation to bone resorption eight hours post exercise, largely due to a decrease in sNTX. Markers return to baseline within 24 hrs. These data suggest that moderate intensity resistance training acutely reduces bone resorption, leading to a favorable change in overall bone turnover, for at least 8 hours post exercise in untrained young men. Further work is needed to determine if long-term benefits to bone strength follow with persistent training.

Whipple TJ, Le BH, Demers LM, Chinchilli VM…
Int J Sports Med Oct 2004
PMID: 15459829

Resistance Exercise Counters Bed Rest


Resistance exercise as a countermeasure to disuse-induced bone loss.

During spaceflight, skeletal unloading results in loss of bone mineral density (BMD). This occurs primarily in the spine and lower body regions. This loss of skeletal mass could prove hazardous to astronauts on flights of long duration. In this study, intense resistance exercise was used to test whether a training regimen would prevent the loss of BMD that accompanies disuse. Nine subjects (5 men, 4 women) participated in a supine maximal resistance exercise training program during 17 wk of horizontal bed rest. These subjects were compared with 18 control subjects (13 men, 5 women) who followed the same bed rest protocol without exercise. Determination of treatment effect was based on measures of BMD, bone metabolism markers, and calcium balance obtained before, during, and after bed rest. Exercisers and controls had significantly (P < 0.05) different means, represented by the respective following percent changes:

lumbar spine BMD, +3% vs. -1%;
total hip BMD, +1% vs. -3%;
calcaneus BMD, +1% vs. -9%;
pelvis BMD, -0.5% vs. -3%;
total body BMD, 0% vs. -1%;
bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, +64% vs. 0%;
alkaline phosphatase, +31% vs. +5%;
osteocalcin, +43% vs. +10%;
1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D, +12% vs. -15%;
parathyroid hormone intact molecule, +18% vs. -25%; and
serum and ionized calcium, -1% vs. +1%.

The difference in net calcium balance was also significant (+21 mg/day vs. -199 mg/day, exercise vs. control). The gastrocnemius and soleus muscle volumes decreased significantly in the exercise group, but the loss was significantly less than observed in the control group. The results indicate that resistance exercise had a positive treatment effect and thus might be useful as a countermeasure to prevent the deleterious skeletal changes associated with long-duration spaceflight.

Shackelford LC, LeBlanc AD, Driscoll TB, Evans HJ…
J. Appl. Physiol. Jul 2004
PMID: 15220316 | Free Full Text

No Bone Benefit in Young Healthy Women from 3 Months Resistance Training or Protein


Effects of resistance training and protein supplementation on bone turnover in young adult women.

The strength of aging bone depends on the balance between the resorption and formation phases of the remodeling process. The purpose of this study was to examine the interaction of two factors with the potential to exert opposing influences on bone turnover, resistance exercise training and high dietary protein intake. It was hypothesized that resistance training by young, healthy, untrained women with protein intakes near recommended levels (0.8 would promote bone formation and/or inhibit bone resorption, and that subsequent supplementation to provide 2.4 g would reverse these effects.
Bone formation was assessed with serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) and osteocalcin (OC), and bone resorption with urinary calcium and deoxypyridinoline (DPD). Biochemical, strength, anthropometric, dietary, and physical activity data were obtained from 24 healthy, untrained, eumenorrheic women (18-29 y) at baseline, after eight weeks of resistance training (3 d.wk(-1), approximately 1 hr.d(-1); 3 sets, 6-10 repetitions, 13 exercises, 75-85% maximum voluntary contraction), and after 12 weeks of resistance training and 10 days of protein/placebo supplementation. Subjects were randomized (double-blind) to either a high protein (HP) or training control (TC) group and, during the final 10 days, consumed either enough purified whey protein to bring daily protein intake to 2.4, or an equivalent dose of isoenergetic, carbohydrate placebo.
Strength, lean tissue mass, and DPD increased significantly in both groups over time, while percent body fat and BAP decreased (repeated measures ANOVA, p < or = 0.05, Bonferroni correction). No significant changes were observed for serum OC or urinary calcium, and no significant group (TC, HP) x time (baseline, week 8, week 12) interactions emerged for any of the biochemical measures.
(1) Twelve weeks of high-intensity resistance training did not appear to enhance bone formation or inhibit bone resorption in young adult women, as assessed by biochemical markers of bone metabolism. (2) Subsequent maintenance of a high protein intake for 10 days in these regularly-training, calcium-replete women also showed no effects on bone metabolism.

Mullins NM, Sinning WE
Nutr Metab (Lond) Aug 2005
PMID: 16098231 | Free Full Text

The results are surprising. The full study is available using the link above. The authors note that these women were taking calcium supplements.

…to exclude the potential effects of calcium deficiency, each subject was given a supply of calcium supplements … to begin consuming for the duration of the study. Each was instructed to carry the calcium tablets in her purse or backpack, and was regularly reminded to consume one 500-mg tablet, twice per day.

There may not have been much more bone enhancement to gain.

…the subjects were healthy, eumenorrheic, calcium-replete women, regularly participating in high-intensity exercise.

They measured alkaline phosphatase, serum osteocalcin, urinary calcium. and urinary deoxypyridinoline.

It is possible that other biomarkers may have produced different results, and that, given a longer time frame, bone densitometry could detect osteogenic effects.


Weight Belt, Step-Ups, Chair Rises, Elastic Band, and Dumbbells + HRT


Home-based resistance training improves femoral bone mineral density in women on hormone therapy.

This study tested whether moderate resistance training would improve femoral bone mineral density (BMD) in long-term users of hormone therapy with low BMD. The study was a 2-year randomized, controlled, trial (RCT) of moderate resistance training of either the lower extremity or the upper extremity. Eighty-five women participated in a 6-month observation period. The setting was center-based and home-based training. The participants were 189 women aged 59-78 years, with total femur T-scores from -0.8 to -2.8 and on hormone therapy (HT) for a minimum of 2 years (mean 11.8 years); 153 completed the trial. Lower extremity training used weight belts (mean 7.8 kg) in step-ups and chair rises; upper extremity training used elastic bands and dumbbells. Measurements were BMD and body composition [dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)], bone turnover markers. Total femoral BMD showed a downward trend during the observation period: 0.35%+/-0.18% (P=0.14). The response to training was similar in the upper and lower groups in the primary outcomes. At 2 years, total femoral BMD increased 1.5% (95% CI 0.8%-2.2%) in the lower group and 1.8% (95% CI 1.1%-2.5%) in the upper group. Trochanter BMD increased 2.4% (95% CI 1.3%-3.5%) in the lower group and 2.5% (95% CI 1.4%-3.6%) in the upper group (for both analyses time effect P<0.001). At 1 year, a bone resorption marker (C-telopeptide) decreased 9% (P=0.04). Bone formation markers, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, decreased 5% (P<0.001), and N-terminal type I procollagen peptide decreased 7% (P=0.01). Body composition (percent lean and percent body fat) was maintained in both groups. We concluded that long-term moderate resistance training reversed bone loss, decreased bone turnover, increased femur BMD, and maintained body composition. The similarity of response in upper and lower groups supports a systemic response rather than a site-specific response to moderate resistance training.

Judge JO, Kleppinger A, Kenny A, Smith JA…
Osteoporos Int Sep 2005
PMID: 15754082