Diet has a greater impact on bone strength than exercise

How do we most effectively strengthen our bones?

Researchers and fitness experts have long wondered whether exercise or diet has a greater positive impact on bone health. A new study has now tried to find an answer to this question.

The University of Michigan scientists found in their current study that diet has a greater impact on bone mass and strength than exercise. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "PLOS ONE".

Nutrition supplemented with minerals is good for the bones

The experts examined the effects of mineral supplements and exercise in mice and noticed surprising results. The special diet had a more positive effect on the mass and strength of the bones than exercise. Even after finishing the training, the mice maintained bone strengthening as long as they were on a mineral supplement.

Results are particularly important for the elderly

A longer-term mineral-enriched diet not only leads to an increase in bone mass and bone strength, but also to the ability to sustain this increase after the period of training, says study author Professor David Kohn of the University of Michigan. The results of the study were achieved in mice, but it would be easier for older people to strengthen their bones through diet than if they had to do sports even in old age.

Diet can strengthen the bones even without training

Another important finding is that the diet has positive effects on the bones even without training. The researchers actually expected that exercise combined with a normal diet would have greater benefits for bone strength, but this was not the case, says Professor Kohn. The data suggests that long-term consumption of mineral-enriched food could be beneficial in preventing loss of bone and strength in old age, even when people are not exercising, the expert added. A combination of both factors reinforces this effect.

The proportion of calcium and phosphorus in the diet was increased

Most of the other studies are concerned with the effects of an increasing proportion of calcium in food, explains Professor Kohn. The current study increased the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the diet and found that it is beneficial to increase both. However, this does not have to mean that people should definitely take in more calcium and phosphorus now, because the results cannot be directly transferred from mice to humans. But at least they give the researchers a conceptual starting point, the professor explains.

People in their early 20s have the best bone mass

It is known that people reach their best bone mass in their early 20s. Then the bone mass decreases. The important question is how to maximize the amount of bone at a young age so that when the natural decline begins, people have a better starting point.

How was the study carried out?

In addition to the examination of bone mass and bone strength, Professor Kohn and his colleagues carried out a whole series of mechanical examinations on the bone, which is important because the bone mass does not always match or predict the mechanical quality of the tissue. They examined the mice after eight weeks of training and supplemented diet or normal diet. The mice were then examined again after a further eight weeks without training. (as)

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Video: 10 Exercises For Bone Health (November 2021).