Mineral Density and Markers of Bone Remodelling in Young Athletes in Response to Weightlifting Exercise: A Pilot Study

Fernando B. Reyes1, Rogelio R. Enríquez2, Julio M. Brown3, José Andre-í S. Sainz4, Rosa O. Méndez Estrada5, Rosa Consuelo V. Valle2, Armando C. Dosamantes3, Héctor Manuel S. Sainz1, *
1 Departamento de Ciencias del Deporte y de la Actividad Física, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, C.P. 83000, México
2 Departamento de Ciencias Químico-Biológicas, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, C.P. 83000, México
3 Departamento de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, C.P., 83000, México
4 Departamento de Investigación en Física, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, C.P., 83000, México
5 Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A. C. Hermosillo, Sonora, C.P., 83304, México

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© 2021 Reyes et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departamento de Ciencias del Deporte y de la Actividad Física, Universidad de Sonora, Rosales y Blvd. Luis Encinas, P.O. Box 1658, C.P. 83000, Hermosillo, Sonora, México; Tel: (662) 454-8418; E-mail:



Weightlifting is a practice that exerts a high degree of pressure on the skeleton when supporting large loads of weight. The practice of exercise contributes by improving bone mineral density (BMD) and can prevent problems associated with low BMD.


The objective of the present study was to determine BMD and measure bone turnover using blood markers in weightlifting athletes in response to exercise.


The study included 16 athletes and 16 controls of both sexes in the range of 18 to 22 years old. BMD was determined at the femoral neck, hip, lumbar spine, and Total Mineral Density (TMD). The value of the total mineral density (TMDV) was obtained from the sum of the BMD of the evaluated regions. Bone formation and resorption in blood were evaluated by Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) and Acid Phosphatase (ACP), respectively. In addition, the concentration of urea and Creatine Kinase (CK) were determined.


The mean BMD of the lumbar spine and TMDV was of 1.2 g/cm2 in female and male athletes. In young people who did not practice weightlifting, BMD in the lumbar spine (0.9 g/cm2 in both groups) and TMDV (1.05 g/cm2 in women and 1.11 g/cm2 in men) were significantly lower (p <0.05). The activity in bone formation and CK in male athletes was twice as high compared to the other groups. The blood urea concentration in athletes (32.7- 38.0 mg/dL) was significantly higher (p <0.05) compared to the control groups (19.3-18.8 mg/dL).


The practice of weightlifting benefits bone mass gain in the lumbar spine. These findings suggest that exercises in which high weight loads are supported promote bone turnover and mineralization to prevent bone weakening.

Keywords: Bone mass, Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, Markers of bone turnover, Alkaline phosphatase, Acid phosphatase, Weights exercise.