Document Type

Article

Abstract

Bone mineral density reflects an athlete’s cumulative history of energy availability, physical activity, and menstrual status, as well as nutritional and environmental factors. Although sports with high-impact loading are associated with higher bone mineral density than low-impact or non-impact sports, confounding variables are differences in the athletes’ body size and sport-specific training. The purpose of this study was to determine if bone mineral density (BMD) and vitamin D status are different between two groups of female collegiate athletes who have comparable body size/weight requirements, but who engage in qualitatively different training regimens. Full body, spine and dual femur BMD was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in members of a university pep-dance team (n = 10) or cheer team (n = 9), ages 18-22. Plasma vitamin D status was assessed by ELIZA. There was no significant difference between the groups for total body BMD (1.23 g/cm2 dance vs 1.22 g/cm2 cheer, P = 0.70), spine BMD (1.39 g/cm2 dance vs 1.36 g/cm2 cheer, P = 0.72) or dual femur BMD (1.20 g/cm2 dance vs 1.11 g/cm2, P = 0.23). Insufficient serum vitamin D status (20-32 ng/mL) was found in 74% of the athletes (27 ± 4 ng/mL, dance and 25 ± 8 ng/mL, cheer). In addition, estimated daily vitamin D and calcium intakes were less than the RDA for both dancers and cheerleaders. Despite nutritional insufficiencies, BMD was not significantly different between the low-impact activity pep dance team and high-impact activity cheer team, suggesting that the type of physical activity was not as important for BMD in these athletes as participating in 20+ hours a week of physical activity, which could have counteracted the negative effects of the nutrient insufficiencies on their bone health.

Disciplines

Exercise Physiology | Exercise Science | Nutrition

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


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