Prebiotics May Help Support Bone Health in Women Athletes
Female athletes may be more prone to bone density disorders, possibly due to a decrease in estrogen levels resulting from regular, vigorous exercise. A recent study has found that supplementation with prebiotic food may have beneficial effects on bone health for female athletes.
Twenty-five female athletes with an average age of 21.5 participated in the study. They consumed one 25-gram pack of prebiotic food containing 100 calories, 3.5 g of protein, 2.8 g of fat, 15.0 g of carbohydrate, 2.5 g of inulin, 1.0 g of lactulose, 100 mg of calcium, and 0.5 µg of vitamin D daily 12 weeks.
Fecal microbiota samples were taken at baseline, week 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 and were used to evaluate gut microbiota composition. Blood samples were used to analyze bone metabolism markers.
Participants saw a significant reduction in a marker of bone resorption, indicating that less break down and absorption of bone was occurring. They also saw a significant increase in levels of the probiotic Bifidobacterium spp at the end of the study period.
The study was conducted by researchers from Waseda University. It was published online ahead of print on June 4, 2021, in the journal Sports.