Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

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Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:27 am

Found this study during a internet search into information on bone density, and it does indicate that cyclists that do not undertake other forms of excercise may suffer from more spinal problems than other athletes due to loss of bone density in the spine.

EXTRACT:
Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

"Regular, non-weight-bearing activities, such as swimming and cycling are effective measures for preventing the leading risk factors for death and disability in our society,” Hinton said. “But the results of this study suggest that regular weight-bearing activities, such as running, jogging, or rope jumping, are important for the maintenance of healthy bones."

The researchers measured bone mineral density in 43 competitive male cyclists and runners ages 20 to 59. Findings of the study included:
The cyclists had significantly lower bone mineral density of the whole body, especially of the lumbar spine, compared to runners.

63 percent of the cyclists had osteopenia of the spine or hip compared with 19 percent of the runners.
Cyclists were seven-times more likely to have osteopenia of the spine than the runners.


Background facts:
The risk of fracture is increased approximately two-fold in osteopenic individuals and five-fold in people with osteopenia.
Low bone density in males often remains undiagnosed and inadequately treated and, after suffering a fracture, men are less likely to receive follow-up care than women.

Risk factors for osteoporosis in men are similar to those identified in women: family history, age, low body weight, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, inadequate calcium or vitamin D intake, low reproductive hormone levels, physical inactivity, and disease or medication affecting bone metabolism.

The study, "Participation in road cycling versus running is associated with lower bone mineral density in men," will be published in Metabolism, and is authored by MU researchers R.S. Rector, R. Rogers, M. Ruebel and P.S. Hinton, in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.
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by BNA » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:06 pm

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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:06 pm

Interesting. Thanks.
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby Marty Moose » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:28 pm

I'm 44 and have osteoporosis so there you go. Its stopped me racing motorcycles 2 years ago and I'm gutted.

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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby Clubagreenie » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:48 pm

Wow , i had my bone density done two months ago .. as i do every 12 months due to illness ... and the Dr told me that the majority of active cyclists don't have a problem , its the ones who hit a bike once a week or fortnight and don't take supplements ....
"My father touched me like that once. To this day, he still has to wear orthopedic shirts."

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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby Marty Moose » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:59 pm

I get a free scan every year now so will see if cyclists can build bone. Mine was from gluten intolerance that I didn't know about til two years ago !! Is cycling (low impact) a factor from what I have read yes and this sort of backs it up.

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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:38 pm

Jeez! We are a sorry damned lot on this thread guys! :(
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby greyhoundtom » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:29 am

While this study does indicate that “competitive” cyclists may suffer low bone density in the spine and the associated problems, there is no doubt that regular cycling is part of a healthy life style that prevents a lot of other health problems.

Bone density depends basically on regular load bearing of bones stimulating a stronger bone structure, sufficient calcium in the diet, as well as regular exposure to sunlight for the Vitamin D component to assist in calcium absorption into the bone tissue.

Because this study was necessarily limited to what are basically professional cyclists that would have extremely low body weight (one of the risk factors), and because cycling places very little regular load bearing on the spine, I’m not surprised by the conclusions of this study.

If the regular diet of the cyclists tested also included a low dietary calcium intake the results are a foregone conclusion.

If cyclists in this situation adjusted their diets to include more milk and cheese, or took a calcium supplement each day and did regular weight lifting as part of their exercise regime, this problem would not exist.
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby Nobody » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:37 am

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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby winstonw » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:05 am

Calcium is also lost in sweat.

http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=2006/letters01-24

"Cyclists also are at risk for low BMD because of increased calcium losses via sweat. Although the concentration of calcium in sweat is low (12-80 mg Ca per litre of sweat), cyclists may have higher sweat volumes than athletes in other sports. Simply, this is because cyclists spend more time training than athletes in other sports. Environmental conditions that increase sweating rates also will increase calcium losses. As an example of potential calcium loss, assume an average sweat concentration of 40 mg per litre and a sweat rate of 1.5 litres per hour, a 4 hour ride would result in a loss of 240 mg. An additional 300 mg of calcium are lost in the urine and faeces per day. To replace the losses, assuming that only 30% of dietary calcium is absorbed from the intestine, 1800 mg of calcium is required. This is considerably higher than the current recommended intake of 1000 mg per day for adults.

Obviously, sweat calcium losses are dependent on the concentration of calcium in sweat, sweat rate, and duration of the ride. As a result, calcium requirements will vary considerably between individuals. If dietary calcium is inadequate to replenish the calcium lost in sweat, calcium will be released from the bone to maintain blood levels. This calcium imbalance causes loss of bone mass over time. Aim for 1000-2000 mg of calcium per day, depending on your training. Do not exceed 2500 mg of calcium per day. Dairy products contain about 300 mg of calcium per serving. Calcium-fortified orange juice, soy milk, and tofu also contain significant amounts of calcium (100-200 mg) per serving. If you do not eat dairy products, you probably will need a calcium supplement. The best types of calcium to take are calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, which can be found in chewable tablets or soft chews. Some chewable antacid tablets contain calcium carbonate and are cheaper than most other calcium supplements. Make sure the antacid contains calcium by reading the label."
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby Euan » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:26 pm

I wonder how triathleteds fair?

I'm not a triathlete but I have a history of running and have recently picked that up again. Oh and I love cheese :lol:
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby winstonw » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:41 pm

The consumption of excessive protein also leeches calcium from the bones and out via the urine, especially when combined with low intake of vegetables and fruit. This also increases risk of kidney stones.

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/6/1051.long
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby scirocco » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:39 pm

If there is a genuine correlation between cycling and low bone density (and I don't see that as proven by any means) then it could be evidence that bone density is affected more by impact loads than static loads.

Those pedals don't go round by themselves. There is a hell of a load on the bones of the leg. What is missing on the bike is the high frequency, rapid rise, high energy impact load that you get on foot, and it may be that sort of loading that improves bone density.
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby vander » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:50 pm

scirocco wrote:If there is a genuine correlation between cycling and low bone density (and I don't see that as proven by any means) then it could be evidence that bone density is affected more by impact loads than static loads.

Those pedals don't go round by themselves. There is a hell of a load on the bones of the leg. What is missing on the bike is the high frequency, rapid rise, high energy impact load that you get on foot, and it may be that sort of loading that improves bone density.


There is a huge difference between the forces both in walking and more importantly in running and those in cycling. There is a link between low bone density and loads need high loads.
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:31 am

scirocco wrote:If there is a genuine correlation between cycling and low bone density (and I don't see that as proven by any means) then it could be evidence that bone density is affected more by impact loads than static loads.

Those pedals don't go round by themselves. There is a hell of a load on the bones of the leg. What is missing on the bike is the high frequency, rapid rise, high energy impact load that you get on foot, and it may be that sort of loading that improves bone density.

Research suggests that the best thing for development or maintenance of bone mineral density is activity that involves some "jarring" of the skeletal system - e.g. jogging, skipping, hockey, basketball, soccer etc. Weightlifting & cycling don't have much positive impact on BMD.
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Re: Cyclists and Bone Density Risks Study

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:36 pm

scirocco wrote:...then it could be evidence that bone density is affected more by impact loads than static loads.

It's not a theory, it's a fact, even down to the cellular level.
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