Effects of Ibuprofen and Resistance Training on Bone and Muscle: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Older Women

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Abstract

Introduction/Purpose

Resistance training with ibuprofen supplementation may improve musculoskeletal health in postmenopausal women. The study purpose was to determine the efficacy of resistance training and ibuprofen supplementation on bone and muscle properties in postmenopausal women.

Methods

Participants (n = 90, 65.3 ± 4.9 yr) were randomly assigned to: supervised resistance training or stretching (placebo-exercise) with postexercise ibuprofen (400 mg) or placebo supplementation for 3 d·wk−1 (9 months). Baseline and postintervention measurements included distal and shaft scans of the forearm and lower leg using peripheral quantitative computed tomography. Distal site outcomes included cross-sectional area, content, and density for total and trabecular bone, as well as estimated bone strength in compression. Shaft site outcomes included total bone area; cortical bone area, content, and density; estimated bone strength in torsion; and muscle area and density.

Results

Exercise–supplement–time interactions for total bone content at the distal radius (P = 0.009) and cortical density at the radius shaft (P = 0.038) were significant. Resistance training with ibuprofen decreased total bone content (−1.5%) at the distal radius in comparison to the resistance training (0.6%; P = 0.032) and ibuprofen alone (0.5%; P = 0.050). Change in cortical density at the radius shaft differed between the stretching with placebo and ibuprofen supplementation groups (−1.8% vs 1.1%; P = 0.050). Resistance training preserved muscle density in the lower leg more so than stretching (−3.1% vs −5.4%; P = 0.015).

Conclusions

Ibuprofen consumed immediately after resistance training had a deleterious effect on bone mineral content at the distal radius, whereas resistance training or ibuprofen supplementation individually prevented bone loss. Resistance training prevented muscle density decline in the lower leg.

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