Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 259–261

Spinal bone mineral after 5 weeks of bed rest


  • Adrian LeBlanc
    • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Victor Schneider
    • University of Texas Health Sciences Center
  • Jean Krebs
    • Johnson Space Center
  • Harlan Evans
    • Johnson Space Center
  • Satish Jhingran
    • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Phillip Johnson
    • Johnson Space Center
Clinical Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF02555226

Cite this article as:
LeBlanc, A., Schneider, V., Krebs, J. et al. Calcif Tissue Int (1987) 41: 259. doi:10.1007/BF02555226


Patients put at bedrest for medical reasons lose 1–2% of spinal bone mineral per week. Losses of this magnitude during even shortterm space flights of a few months would pose a serious limitation and require countermeasures. The spinal bone mineral (L2–L4) was determined in 6 healthy males (precision=2%) before and after 5 weeks of complete bed rest. Only one individual had a significant loss (3%) and the −0.9% mean change for the 6, was not significant (P=0.06). The average negative clacium balance during the 5 weeks was 4 g or 0.36% of total body calcium, similar to that reported in other bed-rest studies. Spinal bone loss, however, in healthy bed-rested males is significantly less than reported for bed-rested patients, suggesting that a large loss of spinal bone mineral does not occur during space flight missions lasting 5 weeks or less.

Key words

Bone mineralSpineBed restCalcium balance
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987