, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 189-196

Evidence for an acute rise of intestinal calcium absorption in response to aerobic exercise

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Background: The acute effects of physical activity on intestinal calcium (Ca) uptake and on bone metabolism are not known. Aim of the study: To investigate the consequences of an acute aerobic exercise bout on fractional Ca absorption and on biomarkers of bone turnover. Methods: With the use of a cross over design, eighteen male athletes, aged 25.2 (SE 0.6) years, either had to perform a 60 min run (70 % of maximal speed) or had to rest for 60 min. Intestinal Ca absorption (Fc240) was assessed by the use of a stable strontium test. Moreover, calciotropic hormones and serum C-Telopeptide (CTx), a biomarker of bone collagen degradation, and serum C-terminal propeptide of type I collagen (PICP), a marker of bone collagen formation, were measured prior (t−60) and 3 hours after (t240) exercise or rest. Results: Fc240 values were significantly enhanced in response to exercise compared to rest (16.2 ± 0.7 % vs. 14.6 ± 0.8 %; P < 0.05). PICP values were significantly lower in response to exercise compared to rest: −9.8 % (P < 0.05). Exercise did not influence serum levels of intact parathyroid hormone and calcitriol. Serum CTx levels decreased markedly between t−60 and t240 during both intervention periods (both P values < 0.001), the results being in line with the circadian rhythm of serum CTx. Conclusions: A moderate exercise bout can induce an acute rise in fractional Ca absorption. Moreover, even in endurance-trained young men a moderate exercise bout acutely decreases bone collagen formation, while the physiologic fluctuations of the bone resorption marker CTx remain unaffected.