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Daniel Courteix, Christelle Jaffré, Philippe Obert, and Laurent Benhamou

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous activity on the somatic and skeletal growths in young females reaching puberty. From a group of 41 prepubertal girls, 24 remained in this study: 10 gymnasts training 15 to 22 hr a week and 14 non-exercising controls. At the start and during the study period, bone age, height, weight, fat and lean mass were significantly lower in the gymnasts vs. the controls (p < .05). These variables had increased in the same way for both groups. At each investigation, the gymnasts had significantly higher BMC, BMD, and BMAD at all the sites (p < .01) except the whole body. The strong correlation between somatic measurements at the start and at the end of the study indicated that physical exercise does not disrupt the normal growth in these children.

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Geraldine Naughton, David Greene, Daniel Courteix, and Adam Baxter-Jones

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Dorina Ianc, Carmen Serbescu, Marius Bembea, Laurent Benhamou, Eric Lespessailles, and Daniel Courteix

We investigated the effects of calcium supplementation and physical practice on the bone ultrasound properties and trabecular microarchitecture in children. 160 children aged 8−11 were randomly allocated to active or nonactive groups and to receive either a calcium-phosphate or a placebo powder for 6 months. Skeletal status was assessed using an ultrasound technique, which measures the speed of sound (Ad-SoS, m/s) at the phalanx. Bone microarchitecture was characterized by fractal analysis measured on calcaneus radiographs and the result expressed as the Hmean parameter, that has been shown to a good reliability of the bone texture quality. After 6 months, the calcium group had significantly gained Ad-SoS compared to the placebo group (P = 0.01) and Hmean increase was greater in the active than the nonactive group (P < 0.05). Exercise and calcium supplementation had a differential effect on the bone tissue, calcium being rather linked to a systemic effect whereas exercise has acted better onto the skeletal stressed site.