, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 177-180

Indicators of bone formation in weight lifters

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Physical activity has been suggested to be one of the determinants of bone turnover and to prevent age-related bone loss. To examine this we measured the serum levels of osteocalcin (bone Gla-protein, BGP), C-terminal procollagen peptide (PICP), serum alkaline phosphatase, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, and S-calcium as indices of bone formation in 19 actively performing and 15 ex-lifters. All were nationally or internationally ranked male athletes. Their values were compared with those from 38 age- and gendermatched controls. Actively performing weight lifters had 35% higher (P<0.05) serum concentration of osteocalcin than the controls. The ex-lifters did not differ from the agematched controls. Also serum calcium was elevated in active lifters (6%) (P<0.01) but not in ex-lifters. No difference was found for serum-ALP, B-ALP, or PICP in either of the groups. Our study indicates that in addition to an already documented and well-known higher bone mineral density in heavily exercising athletes, they have an indication of higher bone formation as measured by biochemical markers. In athletes who have retired from competitional training, however, the bone formation does not differ from that of more sedentary controls.