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Bone Miner. 1991 Apr;13(1):77-83.

The effects of muscle-building exercise on forearm bone mineral content and osteoblast activity in drug-free and anabolic steroids self-administering young men.

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Clinica Medica 2, University of Catania O.V.E, Italy.


We measured bone mineral content (BMC) and bone density (BD) at appendicular sites by single photon absorptiometry in 18 men engaged in body-building exercises for at least 2 years, and in 14 age- and weight-matched controls. Eight exercises were using anabolic steroids by self-administration. Serum levels of bone Gla-protein (BGP), a reliable index of bone formation were also measured in all subjects. It was observed that muscle-building exercise was associated with increased BMC and BD at the distal radius, which contains both cortical and trabecular (more than 50%) bone. Previous authors have failed to detect any increase in BMC at mid radius, a site consisting almost entirely of cortical bone. Serum BGP levels were significantly higher in exercisers than in controls. If compared to drug-free exercisers, subjects taking steroids showed no significant increase of BMC, BD and serum levels of BGP. This study shows that muscle-building exercise is associated with increase in BMC and BD also at non-weight bearing sites, and that anabolic steroids did not provide, at the time of the observation, any further stimulus for osteoblast activity and bone formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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