Summary: We determined the effect of antioxidants and resistance training on bone mineral density of postmenopausal women. After 6 months, we observed a significant decrease in the lumbar spine BMD of the placebo group while other groups remained stable. Antioxidants may offer protection against bone loss such as resistance training.
Introduction: The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the effects of antioxidant supplements combined to resistance training on bone mineral density (BMD) in healthy elderly women.
Methods: Thirty-four postmenopausal women (66.1 +/- 3.3 years) were randomized in four groups (placebo, n = 7; antioxidants, n = 8; exercise and placebo, n = 11; and exercise and antioxidants, n = 8). The 6-month intervention consisted in antioxidant supplements (600 mg vitamin E and 1,000 mg vitamin C daily) or resistance exercise (3x/week). Femoral neck and lumbar spine BMD (DXA) and dietary intakes (3-day food record) were measured before and after the intervention. A repeated measure ANOVA and non-parametric Mann-Whitney U tests were used.
Results: We observed a significant decrease in the placebo group for lumbar spine BMD (pre, 1.01 +/- 0.17 g/cm(2); post, 1.00 +/- 0.16 g/cm(2); P < 0.05 respectively) while it remained stable in all other groups. No changes were observed for femoral neck BMD.
Conclusions: Antioxidant vitamins may offer some protection against bone loss in the same extent as resistance exercise although combining both does not seem to produce additional effects. Our results suggest to further investigate the impact of antioxidant supplements on the prevention of osteoporosis.