Calorie restriction plus exercise can make bones more fragile


Calorie restriction, especially in combination with exercise, can make bones smaller and weaker, according to new research in mice.
Can restricting calories and exercising make bones smaller and weaker?
In contrast, exercising while on a full calorie diet can benefit bone health, say the researchers.
They describe their investigation and its results in a recent Journal of Bone and Mineral Research paper.
“These findings were somewhat of a surprise for us,” says senior study author Dr. Maya Styner, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“Past studies in mice,” she continues, “have shown us that exercise paired with a normal calorie diet, and even a high calorie diet, is good for bone health.”
“Now we’re learning this isn’t true for exercise along with a calorie restricted diet,” she adds. Bone is not an inert material but very much alive; it is continually renewing itself. During childhood, new bone formation happens faster than removal of old bone, resulting in bigger, heavier, and denser bones.
Bone formation continues outpacing bone removal until around the age of 20–30 years, during which time it peaks in most people. Osteoporosis: Could probiotics protect bone health? Osteoporosis: Could probiotics protect bone health? Consuming a probiotic can increase a key protein for bone growth through a complex effect involving gut bacteria and bone marrow.
They can do this by getting regular exercise, not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol, and ensuring that they have a sufficient amount of vitamin D and calcium in their diet.
Osteoporosis occurs when bone formation is too slow, when removal is too quick, or both. The condition, which tends to affect females more often than males, weakens bones and makes them more likely to fracture.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoporosis affects around 25% of females and 5% of males aged 65 and older.
Scientists suggest that one reason osteoporosis is more common in females is because their bones tend to be smaller and thinner. Another reason could be because menopause brings on a sudden drop in estrogen, a hormone that can protect bone.
Dr. Styner suggests that the new findings could be particularly relevant for women because as they age, their bone health starts to deteriorate naturally.
“Your calorie intake and exercise routine can have a great impact on the strength of your bones and your risk [of] break or fracture,” she cautions. Calorie restriction and exercise In their investigation, Dr. Styner and colleagues focused on bone marrow fat. Scientists do not fully understand how this type of fat works.