Poor Bone Health: It’s a common behavior seen in the sports sector where a number of recreational runners gradually develop poor bone health due to the lack of notorious diets.
The incidences of fractures are more commonly noticed in such runners who are unable to obtain high calorific diets and adequate nutrition so as to optimize their hormones, bone health and body composition.
According to Melanie S. Haines, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, female athletes who are going through a phase of under nutrition are at the risk of developing stress fractures due to their low bone density issues. But she is quite reluctant to figure out if male athletes also go through a similar process.
If you look at the Endocrine Society, a number of risk factors for poor bone health in young men have been recognized.
These include some type of eating disorders, lower vitamin D and testosterone levels, diets low in calcium, low body weight or having a tendency to lose weight.
In the research, 15 male runners and 15 non runners were included. They later assessed their vital parameters like hormone levels, body composition and bone density.
After analyzing all the above factors, they concluded that bone density of the tibial cortex, or the outer covering (shell) of lower leg was comparatively lower in athletes as compared to controls.
Poor Bone Health in Male Runners
There are some factors responsible for poor bone health in male runners. Some of the factors include low levels of hormones associated with fat mass (estrogen and leptin), lower weight of muscle mass along with lower bone strength in their lower leg.
And this is what Haines confirmed, “We suspect that a subset of male runners may not be fueling their bodies with enough nutrition and calories for their high level of physical activity. The undernutrition that results negatively affects hormones and bone. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is not enough to overcome other macronutrient and micronutrient deficiencies,” he said.
Body hormones are always found to be associated to maintaining a good bone health. And if these crucial hormones have reached to an abnormally lower levels, then such issues like low bone density and increased fracture risk will become more frequent in runners.