Vitamin E with Vitamin C supplements or exercise boost bone health in older women
A combination of antioxidant supplements and resistance
training may protect against bone loss in postmenopausal women,
according to a new study from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada.
The women who received a combination of Vitamin C and E, and exercise
did not experience any bone loss during a six-month period, while women
receiving placebo did experience detrimental bone loss. “These results
are interesting because this is the first study to examine the
combination of these interventions in healthy elderly women suggesting
another effective strategy to delay age-related BMD loss,” wrote the
researchers, led by Isabelle Dionne, PhD.
Dr. Dionne and her co-workers recruited 34 postmenopausal
women with an average age of 66 and randomly assigned them to one of
four groups: placebo and no exercise; and the antioxidants Vitamin E
and Vitamin C daily and no exercise; placebo plus exercise; and
antioxidants plus exercise, for 6 months.
Measures of the bone mineral density (BMD) of the hip (femoral
neck) and spine (lumbar spine) revealed that only the placebo and no
exercise group experienced significant bone loss at the lumbar spine.
The BMD of both sites remained constant in all the other groups. No
additional effect was observed when antioxidants were combined with
exercise. Commenting on the possible mechanism, Dionne and her
co-workers stated that a previous study has indicated a decrease in
bone resorption following antioxidant supplementation. “Antioxidants
may reduce the damaging effects of oxidative stress on bone mass by
reducing the up-regulated osteoclastic differentiation and enhancing
the down-regulated osteoblastic differentiation,” they said.
Osteoclasts are cells which break down bone, leading to resorption and
weakening. “Our results suggest to further investigate the impact of
antioxidant supplements on the prevention of osteoporosis,” they
Earlier this year, a study funded by the USDA’s Agricultural
Research Service reported that an increased intake of carotenoids, and
particularly Lycopene, was associated with some level of protection
against losses in bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine in
women and at the hip in men. Writing in the January 2009 issue of the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “is therefore possible that
carotenoids explain part of the previously observed protective effects
of fruit and vegetable intake on BMD.” Source: The new study is
published in the July 2009 issue of the journal Osteoporosis