Can weight bearing exercise prevent the menopause related loss of bone mineral density in women?
It is unlikely that even vigorous weight-bearing exercise can completely mitigate the deleterious effects of estrogen deficiency on BMD. Older female athletes not on hormone replacement therapy have lower BMD compared with premenopausal athletes. Additionally, young female athletes with menstrual cycle dysfunction can have BMD levels in the osteopenic (1.0–2.4 standard deviation [SD] below the average peak BMD) and even osteoporotic range (≥ 2.5 SD below the average peak BMD) despite their participation in sports that involve high levels of mechanical loading (e.g., gymnastics, distance running). Moreover, in premenopausal women undergoing ovarian hormone suppression, concurrent resistance exercise training only mitigated some of the BMD decline in the proximal femur and did not prevent the BMD decline at the lumbar spine.