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

March 11, 2010, University of Missouri-Columbia
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.

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.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Scientists produce human intestinal lining that re-creates living tissue inside organ-chip

February 16, 2018
Investigators have demonstrated how cells of a human intestinal lining created outside an individual's body mirror living tissue when placed inside microengineered Intestine-Chips, opening the door to personalized testing ...

Researcher explains how statistics, neuroscience improve anesthesiology

February 16, 2018
It's intuitive that anesthesia operates in the brain, but the standard protocol among anesthesiologists when monitoring and dosing patients during surgery is to rely on indirect signs of arousal like movement, and changes ...

Team reports progress in pursuit of sickle cell cure

February 16, 2018
Scientists have successfully used gene editing to repair 20 to 40 percent of stem and progenitor cells taken from the peripheral blood of patients with sickle cell disease, according to Rice University bioengineer Gang Bao.

Data wave hits health care

February 16, 2018
Technology used by Facebook, Google and Amazon to turn spoken language into text, recognize faces and target advertising could help doctors fight one of the deadliest infections in American hospitals.

Appetite-controlling molecule could prevent 'rebound' weight gain after dieting

February 15, 2018
Scientists have revealed how mice control their appetite when under stress such as cold temperatures and starvation, according to a new study by Monash University and St Vincent's Institute in Melbourne. The results shed ...

First study of radiation exposure in human gut Organ Chip device offers hope for better radioprotective drugs

February 14, 2018
Chernobyl. Three Mile Island. Fukushima. Accidents at nuclear power plants can potentially cause massive destruction and expose workers and civilians to dangerous levels of radiation that lead to cancerous genetic mutations ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.