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Wendy M. Kohrt

The osteogenic response to mechanical stress is blunted with aging. It has been postulated that this decline in responsiveness is related to (a) a limited ability to engender the strain necessary to reach the bone modeling threshold, due to decreased muscle mass and strength, and/or (b) a decline in certain hormones or growth factors that may interact with mechanical signals to change the sensitivity of bone cells to strain. There is reason to believe that both of these factors contribute to the reduced ability to increase bone mass through exercise with advancing age. Weight-bearing endurance exercise and resistance exercise have both been found to increase bone mass in older women and men. However, exercise training studies involving older individuals have generally resulted in increased bone mineral density only when the exercise is quite vigorous. There is also evidence that the osteogenic response to mechanical loading is enhanced by estrogens. Whether age-related changes in other factors (e.g., other hormones, growth factors, cytokines) also contribute to the reduced responsiveness of the aged skeleton to mechanical loading remains to be investigated.

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Andrew R. Coggan, Robert J. Spina, Wendy M. Kohrt, Dennis M. Bier and John O. Holloszy

We hypothesized that when plasma glucose availability is maintained by carbohydrate (CHO) ingestion, trained cyclists can utilize plasma glucose at very high rates during the later stages of prolonged exercise (10). To test this hypothesis, a well-trained male cyclist was studied during exercise to fatigue at 70% VO2max when ingesting glucose throughout exercise. A primed continuous infusion of [U-13C]glucose was begun after 60 min of exercise to measure rates of plasma glucose appearance (Ra), disappearance (Rd), and oxidation (Rox). Ra and Rd rose progressively throughout exercise, peaking at 6.85 and 6.99 mmollmin, respectively, at fatigue (i.e., 133 min). Most (93%) of this glucose was oxidized; during the final 30 min of exercise, Rox, averaged 6.10 mmollmin and accounted for approximately half of total CHO oxidation. These results support the hypothesis that trained cyclists can oxidize plasma glucose at very high rates during the later stages of prolonged exercise when fed CHO.