Exercise helps bones, but not metabolism, in ovarian function loss

October 01, 2018

Knoxville, Tenn. (October 1, 2018)--Exercise may reduce the risk of osteoporosis associated with the loss of ovarian function, but fitness may not protect against related metabolic changes and weight gain, a new study reports. The findings will be presented today at the American Physiological Society's (APS) Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Sex-Specific Implications for Physiology conference in Knoxville, Tenn.

The drop in estrogen that occurs with loss of ovarian function affects the skeletal system. Women in menopause have an increased likelihood of developing osteoporosis (loss of bone density) as estrogen levels fall, but exercise or hormone therapy can minimize this risk. However, the effect of estrogen deficiency on other body systems is less clear. Researchers from the University of Colorado, Denver School of Medicine, studied premenopausal women to determine the role of estrogen and exercise in metabolic rate and energy balance in the body. Energy balance refers to the amount of calories taken in through food in comparison to those burned through physical activity.

All of the women studied had temporary loss of ovarian function (ovarian suppression) that diminished estrogen levels. One group of women received estrogen supplementation and also performed supervised resistance exercise. Another group received hormone therapy but did not exercise. The estrogen supplement groups were compared with ovarian suppression control groups that did not receive hormone therapy but were matched for exercise status. The research team measured bone loss through imaging tests (DEXA scans) and energy expenditure through doubly labeled water--a special type of water that contains varied forms of hydrogen and oxygen to allow for energy tracking.

All of the volunteers had a slower metabolism, burned fewer calories and showed a decrease in muscle mass and an accumulation of belly fat due to the loss of ovarian function. These symptoms were prevented by estrogen therapy. The groups that exercised were protected against the decrease in bone density but not the changes in the other symptoms. "Our findings suggest that exercise can attenuate some (e.g. loss of bone) but not all (e.g., decline in resting metabolic rate) of the consequences of ovarian hormone suppression," the researchers wrote.
-end-
Wendy Kohrt, PhD, associate director of the Center for Women's Health and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver School of Medicine, will present "Bioenergetic and metabolic consequences of the loss of ovarian function in women" in the session "Physiology and Gender: Aging and Senescence" on Monday, October 1, at the Crowne Plaza Knoxville.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Sex-Specific Implications for Physiology conference will be held September 30-October 3 in Knoxville, Tenn. To schedule an interview with the conference organizers or presenters, contact the the APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,000 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

American Physiological Society

Related Osteoporosis Articles from Brightsurf:

New opportunities for detecting osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be detected through low dose computed tomography (LDCT) imaging tests performed for lung cancer screening or other purposes.

Oxytocin can help prevent osteoporosis
In a laboratory experiment with rats, Brazilian researchers succeeded in reversing natural processes associated with aging that lead to loss of bone density and strength.

New strategy against osteoporosis
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

New review on management of osteoporosis in premenopausal women
An IOF and ECTS Working Group have published an updated review of literature published after 2017 on premenopausal osteoporosis.

Cardiac CT can double as osteoporosis test
Cardiac CT exams performed to assess heart health also provide an effective way to screen for osteoporosis, potentially speeding treatment to the previously undiagnosed, according to a new study.

Osteoporosis treatment may also protect against pneumonia
A recent study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (N-BPs) such as alendronate, which are widely used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis, are linked with lower risks of pneumonia and of dying from pneumonia.

New pharmaceutical target reverses osteoporosis in mice
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have discovered that an adenosine receptor called A2B can be pharmaceutically activated to reverse bone degradation caused by osteoporosis in mouse models of the disease.

A link between mitochondrial damage and osteoporosis
In healthy people, a tightly controlled process balances out the activity of osteoblasts, which build bone, and osteoclasts, which break it down.

Many stroke patients not screened for osteoporosis, despite known risks
Many stroke survivors have an increased risk of osteoporosis, falls or breaks when compared to healthy people.

Many postmenopausal women do not receive treatment for osteoporosis
The benefits of treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women outweigh the perceived risks, according to a Clinical Practice Guideline issued today by the Endocrine Society.

Read More: Osteoporosis News and Osteoporosis Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.