Bone Density and Exercise

September 10th, 2012 · No Comments ·

Calcium intake is believed to lower the risk for osteoporosis and maintain bone health, but new findings suggest that exercise may be more effective than calcium at increasing bone mineral density.

In a study, researchers examined the effects of calcium intake and exercise on the bone mineral gain and bone mineral density of 81 teenage girls. At the beginning of the study, researchers believed that calcium intake would increase bone mineral gain, but over the six-year study period, they actually found no relationship between calcium intake and increased bone mineral density. Instead, they discovered that sports-related activities were significantly related to increased hip bone mineral density. In addition, researchers found that increased bone mineral density occurred with all types of exercise, regardless of the intensity of the activity, as long as exercise was done on a daily basis.

While the study’s researchers believe that exercise is the key to increasing bone density in teenage women, calcium supplementation is still needed for optimal bone health (Pediatrics 106: 40-44, 2000). Many young women do not get enough calcium, and supplementation may help to curb the risk of osteoporosis and aid in the maintenance of bone mineral density.

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Tags: Fitness