Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 512–519 | Cite as

Effect of a 6-week supervised detraining period on bone metabolism markers and their association with ergometrics and components of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis in professional male soccer players

  • Nikolaos E. KoundourakisEmail author
  • Nikolaos Androulakis
  • Eirini Dermitzaki
  • Maria Venihaki
  • Andrew N. Margioris
Original Article


The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a supervised 6-week detraining period on bone metabolism markers, and their association with ergometrics, and components of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis in elite male professional soccer players. Sixty-seven soccer players (mean age ± SD 23.4 ± 5.2 years) that were following a supervised training program participated in this study. Players were tested twice: immediately after the conclusion of the competition period, and following the detraining period, for the determination of bone-turnover rates, ergometrics, and components of the HPG-axis. The detraining period resulted in significant reduction in osteocalcin [OC] (p < 0.001), C-terminal propeptide of collagen type-I [CICP] (p = 0.002), and bone-alkaline-phosphatase [b-ALP] (p < 0.001) values, while C-terminal telopeptide [CTX] was increased (p < 0.001). No significant relationships were apparent between bone biomarkers and body weight, body-fat %, total testosterone, free testosterone, estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone in both experimental sessions (p > 0.05). Similarly, despite the deterioration in ergometrics after detraining (all p < 0.001), no significant correlations were evident (p > 0.05) between bone biomarkers and maximal oxygen consumption, squat jump, countermovement jump, and 20 m sprint performance, and also between % change of bone biomarkers and ergometrics, apart from a weak relationship (p = 0.041) between OC and VO2max of questionable value. Our results suggest that the 6-week soccer off-season detraining period in our study negatively affected bone physiology as reflected by the suppression of bone-formation rate and a parallel induction of bone resorption. The cause of this acute alteration of bone-turnover rates is not related to the examined components of the HPG-axis, although parallels is not associated with the changes in ergometrics.


Bone metabolism Detraining Sex steroids Ergometrics Soccer 


Author contributions

Study design: TW, FW, GJ, and BO. Study conduct: TW and GJ. Data collection and management: TW, FW, and GJ. Data analysis: FW, KW, TW, and LL. Data interpretation: FW, TW, KW, LL, and GJ. Drafting manuscript: FW and TW. Revising manuscript content: all authors. Approving final version of manuscript: all authors. FW takes responsibility for the integrity of the data analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors state that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

774_2018_947_MOESM1_ESM.docx (244 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 244 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lab of Clinical Chemistry-Biochemistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  2. 2.Department of Hematology LaboratoryUniversity HospitalHeraklionGreece

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