Physical activity may be a potent regulator of bone turnover biomarkers in healthy girls during preadolescence
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This study investigated the effects of different levels of habitual physical activity (PA) assessed by pedometry on bone turnover markers of preadolescent girls according to a cross-sectional experimental design. Sixty prepubertal girls of similar chronological age, bone age, maturity level, and nutritional status were assigned to a low PA (LPA; n = 25), a moderate PA (MPA; n = 17), or a high PA (HPA; n = 18) group. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to measure areal bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) of the lumbar spine (L2–L4) and dominant hip (femoral neck and trochanter). Blood was collected for the measurement of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone-specific ALP (BSAP), procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide (PINP), C-terminal telopeptide of collagen I (CTX), parathyroid hormone (PTH), osteocalcin, thyroid-stimulating hormone, estradiol, testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations. ANOVA revealed that the HPA group (18,695 ± 1244 steps per day) had a lower daily energy intake and body mass than the MPA group (10,774 ± 521 steps per day) and the LPA group (7633 ± 1099 steps per day). The HPA group had higher (P < 0.05) lumbar and hip BMD and hip BMC than the LPA group and higher (P < 0.05) lumbar BMD than the MPA group. The MPA group had higher (P < 0.05) hip BMC than the LPA group. The HPA group had greater (P < 0.05) values of BSAP, PINP, and ALP and lower (P < 0.05) values of PTH and CTX than the LPA group but not the MPA group. A partial correlation analysis (adjusted for body mass index) revealed a positive correlation of steps per day with BMD and BSAP concentration and a negative correlation with PTH and CTX concentration. In conclusion, PA increases BMD and BMC of premenarcheal girls by favoring bone formation over bone resorption.
KeywordsChildren Preadolescence Physical activity Bone markers Bone remodeling
This study was supported by departmental funding and a grant from Bodosakis Foundation (Greece) for the purchase of instruments. The authors thank Ioannis Galanis for his technical assistance with diet analysis.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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