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Ingrid Bergström group

Bone metabolism, physical activity, hormones and D-vitamin

Ingrid Bergström became specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology 1995. She defended her thesis titled "Effects of gonadal hormone deficiency on bone mineral density. Can physical activity increase bone mineral density in women?" in 2006.

She is now doing preclinical and clinical translational research in collaboration with associate professor Sara Windahl Department of Medicine, Endocrine division, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and professor Göran Andersson, Division of Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm concerning the effect of strain on the bone metabolism in different hormonal conditions. Her clinical work since 2001 concerns Osteoporosis, Bone disorders and Gynecological Endocrinology.

Since 2007 she is the principle investigator of the project: Vitamin D deficiency in immigrant pregnant women and its effects on bone metabolism and pain. The project is now continuing as a treatment study.

Keywords: Hormones, physical training, bone mineral density, bone strength, vitamin D deficiency



Vitamin D treatment in immigrant women

Reduced physical activity and hormonal changes are important factors for developing osteoporosis in patients at high risk for this clinically important condition.

The overall aim of this project is to characterize bone metabolism in order to understand how physical activity may prevent osteoporosis and to investigate the effects of vitamin D treatment in immigrant women with vitamin D deficiency. The current method (DEXA) is insufficient to measure the effect of load on bone strength. Other factors such as the macro- and micro-architecture and collagen content and its characteristics affect the strength. We have extensive experience in training effects on bone markers and bone mineral density (BMD) measured by DEXA.

With the help of grants from the Wallenberg Foundation, we have established a method for analysis of bone structure by quantitative computed tomography (pQCT). We have also established a bone biopsy method and will evaluate the effects on micro-architecture, collagen and on the osteocyte. Our studies are performed with a truly translational approach by combining clinical human research with basic mechanistic studies in in vivo model systems.

Lack of sunlight increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency. Our study on 68 pregnant immigrant women shows that 78% have deficiency, and indicate that this is associated with pain. We are analyzing the effects of vitamin D treatment on bone structure, but also on the pain, muscle strength and balance of immigrant women with vitamin D deficiency.

Financial support


  • Trygg Hansa
  • AFA, Percy Falk Foundation
  • Governmental Funding of Clinical Research within the National Health Service 2009-2012(ALF/LUA)


  • Nycomed
  • Astra Zeneca
  • Aventis, Recip
  • Orion Pharma

Doctoral students supervised

Axel Wihlborg
Christos Topalis

Selected publications

Dahlman I, Gerdhem P, Bergström I. No effect on bone mineral density or bone parameters in immigrant women with low vitamin D levels living in Stockholm. Submitted Osteoporosis International 2012

Bergström I, Blanck A. Säfendahl L. Vitamin D levels in children born with severe vitamin D deficiency supplemented with vitamin D. Submitted Acta Pediatrica 2012

Bergström I, Palmer M, Persson J, Blanck A. Pain and low levels of vitamin D in pregnant immigrant women living in Sweden. Submitted BJOG 2012.

Bergström I, Parini P, Gustafsson S, Brinck J, Andersson G. Physical training increases osteoprotegerin in postmenopausal women. J Bone Miner Metab. 2012 Mar;30(2):202-7. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Bergström I, Bergström K, Grahn Kronhed AC, Brinck J, Karlsson S. Back extensor training increases muscle strength in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, kyphosis and vertebral fractures. Advances in Physiotherapy. 2011; 13: 110 117

Bergström I, Sääf M. Effects of physical training on bone mineral density in fertile women with idiopathic osteoporosis. Clin Rheumatol. 2008 Aug;27(8):1035-8. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

Bergstrom I, Landgren BM, Brink J, Freyschuss B. Physical training preserves bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with forearm fractures and low bone mineral density. Osteoporos Int. 2008 Feb;19(2):177-83. Epub 2007 Sep 1.

Bergström I, Landgren BM, Pyykkö I. The effect of Physical Training and hormone replacement therapy on the balance, hot flushes and well being in perimenopausal women a pilot study. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2007;86(4):467-72.

Bergstrom I, Freyschuss B, Landgren BM. Physical training and hormone replacement therapy reduce the decrease in bone mineral density in perimenopausal women: a pilot study. Osteoporos Int. 2005 Jul;16(7):823-8. Epub 2004 Nov 5.

Bergström I, Freyschuss B, Jacobsson H, Landgren. BM. The effect of physical training on bone mineral density in women with endometriosis treated with GnRH analogs: a pilot study. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2005 Apr;84(4):380-3.

Open positions

We are always interested in recruiting PhD students with special interest in physical activity, vitamin D and their effects on bone metabolism. Please, contact Dr. Ingrid Bergström for information, e-mail:; phone +46 8 58589558 or +46 721 777857.