• Open Access

Reduced bone mineral density is not associated with significantly reduced bone quality in men and women practicing long-term calorie restriction with adequate nutrition

Authors

  • Dennis T. Villareal,

    1. Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO, USA 63110
    2. Geriatrics, New Mexico VA Health Care System and University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, 1502 San Pedro Drive, NM, USA 87108
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  • John J. Kotyk,

    1. Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 510 South Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, USA 63110
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  • Reina C. Armamento-Villareal,

    1. Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO, USA 63110
    2. Endocrinology Sections, New Mexico VA Health Care System and University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, 1502 San Pedro Drive, NM, USA 87108
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  • Venkata Kenguva,

    1. Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO, USA 63110
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  • Pamela Seaman,

    1. MicroMRI Inc., 580 Middletown Blvd, Langhorne, PA, USA 19047
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  • Allon Shahar,

    1. MicroMRI Inc., 580 Middletown Blvd, Langhorne, PA, USA 19047
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  • Michael J. Wald,

    1. Department of Radiology, Laboratory for Structural NMR Imaging, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 3400 Spruce St, 1 Founders, MRI Education Center, PA 19104, USA
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  • Michael Kleerekoper,

    1. Department of Radiology, Laboratory for Structural NMR Imaging, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 3400 Spruce St, 1 Founders, MRI Education Center, PA 19104, USA
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  • Luigi Fontana

    1. Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO, USA 63110
    2. Division of Nutrition and Aging, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, via Regina Elena 299, Rome, Italy 00161
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Luigi Fontana, Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8113, 4566 Scott Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. Tel.: +1 314 747 1485; fax: +1 314 362 7657; e-mail: lfontana@dom.wustl.edu

Summary

Calorie restriction (CR) reduces bone quantity but not bone quality in rodents. Nothing is known regarding the long-term effects of CR with adequate intake of vitamin and minerals on bone quantity and quality in middle-aged lean individuals. In this study, we evaluated body composition, bone mineral density (BMD), and serum markers of bone turnover and inflammation in 32 volunteers who had been eating a CR diet (∼35% less calories than controls) for an average of 6.8 ± 5.2 years (mean age 52.7 ± 10.3 years) and 32 age- and sex-matched sedentary controls eating Western diets (WD). In a subgroup of 10 CR and 10 WD volunteers, we also measured trabecular bone (TB) microarchitecture of the distal radius using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. We found that the CR volunteers had significantly lower body mass index than the WD volunteers (18.9 ± 1.2 vs. 26.5 ± 2.2 kg m−2; = 0.0001). BMD of the lumbar spine (0.870 ± 0.11 vs. 1.138 ± 0.12 g cm−2, P = 0.0001) and hip (0.806 ± 0.12 vs. 1.047 ± 0.12 g cm−2, = 0.0001) was also lower in the CR than in the WD group. Serum C-terminal telopeptide and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase concentration were similar between groups, while serum C-reactive protein (0.19 ± 0.26 vs. 1.46 ± 1.56 mg L−1, = 0.0001) was lower in the CR group. Trabecular bone microarchitecture parameters such as the erosion index (0.916 ± 0.087 vs. 0.877 ± 0.088; = 0.739) and surface-to-curve ratio (10.3 ± 1.4 vs. 12.1 ± 2.1, = 0.440) were not significantly different between groups. These findings suggest that markedly reduced BMD is not associated with significantly reduced bone quality in middle-aged men and women practicing long-term calorie restriction with adequate nutrition.

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