To compare the effects of nine months of exercise training and ibuprofen supplementation (given immediately after exercise sessions) on bone and muscle in postmenopausal women.
In a double-blind randomized trial, participants (females: n = 90, mean age 64.8, SD 4.3 years) were assigned (computer generated, double blind) to receive supervised resistance training or stretching 3 days/ week, and ibuprofen (400 mg, post-exercise) or placebo (i.e. 4 groups) for 9 months. In this proof-of-concept study the sample size was halved from required 200 identified via 90% power calculation. Baseline and post intervention testing included: Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total body areal bone mineral density (aBMD); geometry of proximal femur; total body lean tissue and fat mass; predicted 1-repetition maximum muscle strength testing (1RM; biceps curl, hack squat).
Exercise training or ibuprofen supplementation had no effects on aBMD of the lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total body. There was a significant exercise × supplement × time interaction for aBMD of Ward's region of the femoral neck (p=0.015)with post hoc comparison showing a 6% decrease for stretching with placebo vs. a 3% increase for stretching with ibuprofen (p=0.017). Resistance training increased biceps curl and hack squat strength vs. stretching (22% vs. 4% and 114% vs. 12%, respectively) (p b 0.01) and decreased percent body fat compared to stretching (2% vs. 0%) (P B 0.05).
Ibuprofen supplementation provided some benefits to bone when taken independent of exercise training in postmenopausal women. This study provides evidence towards a novel, easily accessible stimulus for enhancing bone health [i.e. ibuprofen].