Nutrition news

Lower tibial cortical BMD, bone strength observed in male runners compared to non-athletes



Haines MS, et al. PSAT-162. Presented at: ENDO annual meeting; June 11-14, 2022; Atlanta (hybrid meeting).

Haines does not report any relevant financial information.

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ATLANTA — Male runners are more likely to have lower tibial bone mineral density and strength than non-athletes, according to a presenter at ENDO 2022.

In an analysis of data from a cohort of men running an average of 43 miles per week, lower muscle mass, leptin, and estrogen were associated with lower tibial failure load in runners, suggesting suggests that men with lower energy intake have lower tibial bone strength.

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“Male runners, including recreational runners, should be educated on the importance of adequate nutrition and calorie intake to optimize hormones, body composition and bone health and to prevent bone stress injury. “, Melanie Schorr Haines, MDassistant professor at Harvard Medical School and in the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Healio told.

Melanie Schorr Haines

Haines and his colleagues analyzed data from 15 men between the ages of 16 and 30 who ran at least 30 miles per week for 6 months over the past year. The cohort was compared to a control group of 16 men who performed less than 2 hours of weight-bearing exercise per week and did not participate in organized team sports. Tibia and radius distal volumetric BMD and microarchitecture were measured by high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT, estimated bone strength was measured by microfinite element analysis, and body composition was measured by DXA. Researchers collected testosterone, estradiol, and leptin levels for each participant.

The runner and control groups did not differ in age, BMI, lean body mass, testosterone and estradiol levels. Mean tibial cortical BMD was lower and porosity was higher in the runners group compared to controls (P P

Among runners, those with a BMI of 21 kg/m2 or less had a lower tibial fracture load than those with a BMI greater than 21 kg/m2 (P = 0.007). Lower levels of muscle mass, serum leptin, and estradiol were associated with lower tibial failure burden in runners. No association between tibial fracture load and testosterone was observed.

“We found that a subset of male runners are not fueling their bodies with enough nutrients and calories for their high level of physical activity,” Haines said. “It may escape clinical attention until substantial bone damage results because their BMI is within the normal range and they don’t have the same overt signs of undernutrition as female athletes.”

Haines said the researchers plan to continue following the group of runners for 12 months to examine whether nutrition, body composition and hormones predict changes in bone density and strength.