Women who follow strict exercise and diet regimens may harm their body’s ability to form new bone, which can lead to osteoporosis later in life. Researchers recommend that the more women exercise, the more they need to eat to stay healthy.
“Thousands of women severely restrict their diet and practice rigorous exercise programs for fitness and weight control,” said Anne Loucks, professor of biological sciences at Ohio University and lead author on the new study. “Because some don’t see obvious signs of undernutrition, such as a disrupted menstrual cycle, they may think they’re eating enough. If their diet does not supply enough energy to fuel their exercise level, though, they may be harming themselves. They need to replenish those calories.”
Earlier studies showed that too few calories (low energy availability) disrupts the reproductive system and impairs bone formation in teens and college-age females. If a young woman’s menstrual cycle stopped, it was considered a warning sign of bone loss.
Although the reproductive system is much less dependent on energy availability in slightly older women after they stop growing, these women remain at risk for bone loss, according to new findings presented today by Loucks and Ohio University undergraduate student Aiden Shearer at the Endocrine Society annual meeting in Toronto.
The researchers restricted the caloric intake of two groups of women with regular menstrual cycles and normal body fat over five days. Participants exercised for nearly two hours each day. One group ranged in age from 18 to 23 years, and the other was aged 26 to 32. Scientists know that bone formation continues in adulthood, as old bone is continually being replaced with new bone.
In both age groups, two bone formation markers were suppressed, suggesting that low energy availability continues to impair bone formation in adults as well as adolescents.
“Appetite is not a good indicator of how much female athletes should eat, and neither is a regular menstrual cycle,” warned Loucks, pointing out that low bone density puts women at higher risk for stress fractures and can lead to osteoporosis.
The study was funded by the U.S. Army, Ross Laboratories and the Ohio University Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fund.
Andrea Gibson | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences