Bone health is modified by the timing of nutritional intake – Phil Jakeman

In a previous blog we reported on the launch of a study designed to evaluate the efficacy of a novel nutrient supplement designed to assist in the prevention of the age-related decline in skeletal mass, i.e. osteopenia. Funded by an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Project Grant in collaboration with Dairygold, the project recognises the pivotal role of bone turnover in the maintenance of bone health. Bone turnover is a term used to describe the normally balanced rate of bone resorption and bone formation. Resulting from this activity 5-10% of the skeleton is ‘turned over’ each year as bone remodels for essential maintenance and repair. In a paradigm shift away from the measurement of bone mineral density as the key determinant of fracture risk we now find the rate of remodeling to be a risk factor of fracture that is independent of BMD. (Figure 1). Diet, principally calcium and vitamin D is a modifiable, lifestyle factor that can affect bone health and the risk of fracture. A nutritional intervention that positively modulates the linked remodeling processes of bone resorption and formation is an attractive option in the maintenance of bone health.

Bone remodeling exhibits a unimodal diurnal rhythm with a nocturnal peak and daytime nadir so we thought it attractive to link the time of nutrient intake to the time of peak remodeling to generate the greatest effect.

And it worked!

A bedtime feed of a milk protein based matrix fortified with calcium and vitamin D to post-menopausal women with osteopenia lowered the night time rate of remodelling by 30% and the overall daily rate by 10%. Lead publication in a Special Issue ‘Nutritional Status and Bone Health’ of the Journal Nutrients, the research reinforces further the need to consider the timing of nutrient intake to the biological clock of the target tissue to gain the greatest effect. You may read further @

Phil Jakeman is a Professor of Exercise Science at the department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences in UL. He directs the Human Science Research Group within the 4i Centre for Intervention in Infection, Inflammation and Immunity at UL.  His research interests include Human Exercise Science, Biochemistry of Exercise, Growth Factors, Bone Turnover, Muscle Adaption, Nutrition and Metabolism.  Professor Jakeman can be contacted via email or you can view his research profiles on Orcid  and researchgate

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