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High impact exercises, calcitonin secretion and the bone strength

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  • High impact exercises, calcitonin secretion and the bone strength

    Dear all,

    I have noticed a number of articles on the "stone age diet" (aka the
    paleolithic diet) on the web lately. These mainly talk about how little
    magnesium (too little seafood!) and too much sodium chloride and coffee
    in our diet might cause many of our modern ailments (everything from
    acne to osteoporosis some sites claim).

    The other day I saw a claim on some of these sites that might be of
    interest to those involved in biomechanics. The authors' contention is
    that a sedentary life reduces the mineralization of our bones.
    Apparently ambulatory exercises that cause high impact stresses on the
    leg bones (such as walking and jogging) increase the production of
    calcitonin and thus increase the deposition of calcium in the bones and
    enlarge their cross sectional area (and possibly their bone density).
    Hence many sports (such as cycling and swimming) and bench-based
    gymnasium exercise are not quite so beneficial because they are not as
    likely to cause calcitonin production.

    The article ("Factors that Inhibit Calcium Absorption" by Ron Hoggan &
    Don Wiss) quotes a textbook (Tortora and Grabowski, "Principles of
    Anatomy & Physiology", Harper Collins, N.Y., 1996) but no journal
    references for this particular topic.

    Cut out tiring, expensive gymnasium exercises and do more cheap
    do-it-yourself walks (and eat more fish); this sounds almost too good to
    be true!

    Does anyone know if there has been any good new research on the topic of
    high impact exercises, calcitonin secretion and bone strength published

    By the way the idea that high impact exercises are particularly good
    might lie behind the various leg stamping and hand slapping training
    exercises of the sumo wrestlers; has anyone been evaluating their
    skeletal effects lately?


    David McFarlane
    Ergonomist, WorkCover NSW

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