While the benefits for women leading an active lifestyle, including running, are profound and well-known, there are serious exercise-associated health risks. Young female athletes who do not eat enough to offset the energy they expend exercising can stop menstruating or develop irregular menses as a consequence.
Their resulting estrogen profile is similar to that of postmenopausal women who have low estrogen levels placing the young women at higher risk for early onset heart disease.
There are nearly three million girls in high school sports and approximately 23 million women who run at least six times a week. The prevalence of athletic-associated amenorrhea among these runners is now estimated at 44 percent. A previous study by Dr. Hoch conducted at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee, revealed that 54 percent of the varsity athletes were currently or had a history of amenorrhea.
"The earliest sign of heart disease can be measured by reduced dilation in the brachial artery of the arm in response to blood flow. Reduced vascular dilation can limit oxygen uptake and affect performance," says Anne Hoch, D. O., the study's lead author. Dr. Hoch is a professor of orthopaedic surgery and director of the Froedtert & the Medical College Women's Sports Medicine Center.
The current study by Dr. Hoch's research team found that folic acid supplement improved blood flow-mediated dilation in the brachial artery which correlates with increased blood flow to the heart.
Both children and adults require folic acid to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia. Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, folacin and collate, is the form of the vitamin needed during periods of cell growth.
The researchers recruited 20 female college or recreational runners, ages 18 to 35, who were not on birth control pills and had been running at least 20 miles a week for the past 12 months. At the start of the study, women who were amenorrheic had reduced blood vessel dilation similar to postmenopausal women. Women who were menstruating were included in the control group. Both groups were given 10 mg. of folic acid per day for four weeks. Vascular function returned to normal in the amenorrheic women after folic acid supplementation. Despite supplementation, vascular function remained at normal levels in the control group.
More research is needed to determine the lowest optimal dose of folic acid for athletic amenorrhea which offers the maximum benefit. Folic acid supplementation is important because folic acid may not only decrease cardiovascular risks but also improve athletic performance for these women.
The study was partially funded by a grant from the Cardiovascular Center and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College.
Toranj Marphetia | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Awards Funding
28.06.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy