To do so, they examined mice. The rodents went through exercise training and were fed a mineral-supplemented or normal diet for eight weeks. The scientists measured the animals’ bone mass and strength and administered mechanical assessments on the bones after the training period and again eight weeks after detraining.
After analyzing the results, they found nutrition has a greater impact on bone mass and strength than exercise. In fact, the mice that continued to eat a mineral-supplemented diet maintained their bone strength even after the exercising stopped.
"The longer-term mineral-supplemented diet leads to not only increases in bone mass and strength, but the ability to maintain those increases even after detraining," coauthor David Kohn said in a statement. "This was done in mice, but if you think about the progression to humans, diet is easier for someone to carry on as they get older and stop exercising, rather than the continuation of exercise itself."
Upon further evaluation, they learned diet alone had a positive effect on bones without exercise.
“The data suggests the long-term consumption of the mineral-supplemented diet could be beneficial in preventing the loss of bone and strength with age, even if you don’t do exercise training,” Kohn said.
Although they noted that the findings don’t translate directly from mice to humans, they said the results “give researchers a conceptual place to start.”
Want to learn more about the trial? Take a look here.
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