Research by Professor Anthony J Sargeant into estimating human fat, muscle and bone volumes.

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This preliminary report to the Physiological Society describes research which formed part of the PhD of Tony Sargeant. It was carried out before the days of CT or MRI scanning and involves many hours of meticulous measurements from conventional X-rays and anthropometry.
Journal of Physiology. 1975 Jan;244(1):13P-14P

A research report of methodologies for the assessment of limb tissues (fat, muscle, bone).

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Bone health in Master Athletes compared to a normal population

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Mechanical loading is thought to be a determinant of bone mass and geometry. Both ground reaction forces and tibial strains increase with running speed. This study investigates the hypothesis that surrogates of bone strength in male and female master sprinters, middle and long distance runners and race-walkers vary according to discipline-specific mechanical loading from sedentary controls.

Bone scans were obtained by peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT) from the tibia and from the radius in 106 sprinters, 52 middle distance runners, 93 long distance runners and 49 race-walkers who were competing at master championships, and who were aged between 35 and 94 years. Seventy-five age-matched, sedentary people served as control group. Most athletes of this study had started to practice their athletic discipline after the age of 20, but the current training regime had typically been maintained for more than a decade. As hypothesised, tibia diaphyseal bone mineral content (vBMC), cortical area and polar moment of resistance were largest in sprinters, followed in descending order by middle and long distance runners, race-walkers and controls. When compared to control people, the differences in these measures were always >13% in male and >23% in female sprinters (p<0.001). Similarly, the periosteal circumference in the tibia shaft was larger in male and female sprinters by 4% and 8%, respectively, compared to controls (p<0.001). Epiphyseal group differences were predominantly found for trabecular vBMC in both male and female sprinters, who had 15% and 18% larger values, respectively, than controls (p<0.001). In contrast, a reverse pattern was found for cortical vBMD in the tibia, and only few group differences of lower magnitude were found between athletes and control people for the radius. In conclusion, tibial bone strength indicators seemed to be related to exercise-specific peak forces, whilst cortical density was inversely related to running distance. These results may be explained in two, non-exclusive ways. Firstly, greater skeletal size may allow larger muscle forces and power to be exerted, and thus bias towards engagement in athletics. Secondly, musculoskeletal forces related to running can induce skeletal adaptation and thus enhance bone strength

http://www.pubfacts.com/author/Anthony+J+Sargeant

Bone health and exercise – athletes and sedentary people

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Professor Anthony J Sargeant was the Director of the Research Institute where this research initiated and driven by Professor Joern Ritttweger was carried out by Desiree Wilks (a PhD student under their joint supervision).
Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interaction
J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2009 Oct-Dec;9(4):236-46

Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether athletic participation allows master athletes to preserve their good bone health into old age. METHODS: Bone strength indicators of the tibia and the radius were obtained of master runners and race-walkers (n=300) competing at World and European Master Championships and of 75 sedentary controls, all aged 33-94 yrs. RESULTS: In the tibia, diaphyseal cortical area (Ar.Ct), polar moment of resistance (RPol) and trabecular bone mineral density (vBMD) were generally greater in athletes than controls at all ages. In the athletes, but not the controls, Ar.Ct, RPol (females) and trabecular vBMD were negatively correlated with age (p<0.01). Radius measures were comparable between athlete and control groups at all ages. The amalgamated data revealed negative correlations of age with Ar.Ct, RPol (females), cortical vBMD and trabecular vBMD (males; p<0.005) and positive correlations with endocortical circumference (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: This cross-sectional study found age-related differences in tibial bone strength indicators of master athletes, but not sedentary controls, thus, groups becoming more similar with advancing age. Age-related differences were noticeable in the radius too, without any obvious group difference. Results are compatible with the notion that bones adapt to exercise-specific forces throughout the human lifespan.

http://www.pubfacts.com/author/Anthony+J+Sargeant