Topical Area: Sports Nutrition
Objectives : The relationship between the inflammatory potential of the diet, estimated by the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) score, and bone health has been studied in older populations and suggests that the diet can influence bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture risk. These relationships have yet to be explored in other potentially vulnerable populations, such as athletes, where risk of injuries may be more common due to high physical stresses and over-use. The aims of this study were 1) to examine the correlation between DII scores, and BMD in collegiate athletes, and 2) to assess the relationship between DII score and self-reported prior injury incidence.
Methods : Healthy collegiate athletes (n = 43) were recruited for this study: football, n = 12; men’s soccer, n = 2; women’s soccer, n = 13; women’s swimming, n = 12; and women’s basketball, n = 4. For each athlete, three 24-hour dietary intakes were collected using a standardized multiple-pass interview methodology (Nutrition Data System for Research) and this data was used to calculate individual DII scores. Body composition, including whole-body sub-total BMD, was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A modified overuse injury questionnaire (Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre) was used to assess incidence of injuries in the prior 12 months.
Results : The participants (n = 14 male, n = 29 female) had a mean age of 19.4 ± 1.1 yrs and BMI of 25.8 ± 4.1 kg/m2. Mean DII score was -0.43 ± 0.17 points (range: -3.94 to 4.34). Mean BMD was 1.251 ± 0.169 g/cm2. Overall, DII score and BMD was not correlated (P = 0.47). Furthermore, DII scores of athletes that reported no prior injury did not differ from those who reported 1 or more injuries.
Conclusions : Unlike research in postmenopausal women, it appears that bone health of young healthy athletes is less vulnerable to the influence of diets with higher inflammatory potential. Moreover, the lack of difference in DII score among athletes reporting various levels of prior injury suggests that the inflammatory potential of the diet is a poor predictor of injury risk in collegiate athletes.
Funding Sources : N/A