why Osteocalcin hormone should matter to athletes?


for a long time, Bone was known as an organ which only provided protection and support and facilitate mobility in our body, but, this idea has changed dramatically in past few years and bone is becoming increasingly admired for its endocrine function and secreting several hormones as well which thereby controls various physiological pathways. These functions are known to be done by the three major cell types of the skeleton: osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes.
Osteocalcin(bone γ-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla) protein or BGP and bone gamma-carboxyglutamic acid-containing protein or BGLAP), is a 46–50 calcium-binding amino acid hormone produced by osteoblasts.

why Osteocalcin should matter to athletes?

bone is an endocrine organ contributing to the regulation of a number of physiological processes such as metabolism(and decreasing visceral fat), reproduction, and cognition(through endocrine loops between bone and the pancreas, brain and testes). One of the functions regulated by bone through osteocalcin is glucose homeostasis which provides energy to muscles during exercise, it may be involved in the communication between bones and muscles.
Osteocalcin also regulates the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, serotonin, or norepinephrine.

The periosteum is a membranous tissue that covers the surfaces of your bones.
the correlations between osteocalcin, testosterone, and periosteal circumference were highest in subjects with bone age between 11 and 14 years, during the phase of maximal skeletal growth. Thus, during this phase, the rise in osteocalcin levels (due to the rapid skeletal growth) may further stimulate testicular testosterone production, which, in turn, contributes to an increase in bone size.
The hypothesis that bone is an endocrine organ regulating, among other functions, energy metabolism arises from a conceptual view of bone biology anchored in evolution. Importantly, this view of bone biology s supported by both clinical observations and experimental evidence.
skeletal muscle and adipose tissue respond to osteocalcin by increasing their sensitivity to insulin. Osteocalcin acts in the brain to increase neurotransmitter production and in the testes to stimulate testosterone production.
bone is the only tissue that contains a cell type, the osteoclast, whose only function is to destroy or to resorb mineralized bone matrix as being of fundamental importance. By definition, because it occurs daily in a tissue that covers a large surface in our body, this active destruction of mineralized bone requires energy. bone resorption is followed by bone formation, a cellular process that relies on the daily synthesis of proteins; hence, bone formation also requires energy, This is why we have hypothesized that bone modeling and remodeling have to be linked to the regulation of energy metabolism.
many of the drugs currently used for the treatment of osteoporosis are antiresorptives and consistently suppress osteoclast activity and bone resorption, with potential negative implications on bone matrix acidification and the release of undercarboxylated osteocalcin.

researches on Osteocalcin

osteocalcin levels were found to increase in mice and humans during exercise. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that osteocalcin levels decline during aging, coinciding with a diminished exercise capacity and a decrease in muscle mass.
in the subgroup of obese men with type 2 diabetes undercarboxylated osteocalcin was among the strongest predictors for the change in glucose levels after exercise. It is well known from clinical and experimental observations that osteocalcin are lower in diabetic patients than in normal individuals and that interventions which improve glycemic control are generally associated with an increase in serum osteocalcin.
a recent prospective study in patients with type 2 diabetes indicated that an increase in osteocalcin levels over a period of 6 months was associated not only with a decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin and an improved glucose tolerance but also with positive effects on triglycerides and HDL levels.
a recent prospective analysis carried out in middle-aged men showed that low osteocalcin levels were related to a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes at 10 years. different cross-sectional and prospective studies in healthy subjects demonstrated a positive association between total osteocalcin levels and improved fasting blood glucose or reduced concentrations of glycosylated hemoglobin levels, even in different ethnic groups and at different ages.
in a recent prospective analysis on 3542 adult men aged between 70 and 90 years and followed for more than 5 years both lower and higher total osteocalcin levels predicted increased all-cause mortality rates, with comparable associations for cardiovascular and noncardiovascular deaths.
Recent provocative data from experimental observations in mice showed that the circulating undercarboxylated fraction of osteocalcin increases insulin secretion and sensitivity, lowers blood glucose, and decreases visceral fat in both genders, while it enhances testosterone production by the testes in males.

how to increase Osteocalcin?

1. Eat Vegetables in all kinds

vitamin C stimulates the production of bone-forming cells. also some studies report that vitamin C’s antioxidant effects may protect bone cells from degrading.

2. do not forget weight lifting

high intensity training and weight lifting facilitate formation of new bones.

3. take in enough amino acids from a wide range of protein rich foods

low protein intake decreases calcium absorption and may also negatively affect osteoblasts and osteoclasts. about 50% of bone is made of protein.

4. do not forget your calcium

Calcium is without a doubt the most important mineral for bone health since it is the main mineral in your bones. Because old bone cells are constantly broken down and replaced by new ones, it’s important to consume calcium daily to protect bone structure and strength.

5. be sure to take in enough Vitamin D(calciferol) and Vitamin K(Phytonadione)

Vitamin D stimulates directly osteocalcin transcription while vitamin K regulates carboxylation processes. Vitamin D plays several roles in bone health, including helping your body absorb calcium. Achieving a blood level of at least 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l) is recommended for protecting against osteopenia, osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

6. Avoid Very fad diets(especially too low calorie diets)

Dropping calories too low is never a good idea. In addition to slowing down your metabolism, creating rebound hunger and causing muscle mass loss, it can also be harmful to bone health.

7. do not forget about Collagen

While there isn’t a lot of research on the topic yet, early evidence suggests that collagen supplements may help protect bone health. Collagen is the main protein found in bones. It contains the amino acids glycine, proline and lysine, which help build bone, muscle, ligaments and other tissues.

8. Maintain a Stable, Healthy Weight

In addition to eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight can help support bone health.

9. take in more Magnesium and Zinc

Calcium isn’t the only mineral that’s important for bone health. Several others also play a role, including magnesium and zinc. Magnesium plays a key role in converting vitamin D into the active form that promotes calcium absorption.

10. be sure you include Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their anti-inflammatory effects. They’ve also been shown to help protect against bone loss during the aging process.