, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 215-219
Date: 13 Mar 2014

Exercise-Trained Young Men Have Higher Calcium Absorption Rates and Plasma Calcitriol Levels Compared with Age-Matched Sedentary Controls

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The effect of physical activity on human calcium (Ca) metabolism is still not completely understood. Thus, we investigated fractional Ca absorption using a stable strontium test (Fc240), calciotropic hormones, and renal Ca excretion in 31 young men with a high activity level (GH) and in 26 age-matched sedentary control subjects (GL). Weekly hours spent on physical activity, obtained with a questionnaire were 15.0 ± 6.6 (GH) and 1.0 ± 1.4 (GL), respectively. Serum testosterone levels were significantly lower in GH compared with GL (P < 0.005). Dietary Ca intake (4-day food record) was twice as high in GH compared with GL men (P < 0.001). GH had significantly higher serum calcitriol levels and Fc240 values than GL (P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively). In a stepwise multiple regression analysis including serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, calcitriol, testosterone, and dietary Ca intake, only calcitriol was significantly correlated with Fc240 (P= 0.017). Twenty-four hour renal Ca excretion was only slightly higher in GH compared with GL (P < 0.05). However, additional Ca losses might have occurred through the extensive sweating of GH, as indicated by a difference of 1.7 liter between fluid intake and renal fluid excretion (P < 0.001). In summary, we observed a higher fractional Ca absorption rate in physically active young men compared with sedentary controls which is probably mediated by calcitriol. The low testosterone serum levels of the athletes were obviously not a limiting factor in Ca absorption efficiency. An additional Ca retention might, however, only be obtained if absorbed Ca exceeded total obligatory Ca losses.

Received: 30 September 1999 / Accepted: 22 March 2000