Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) with Dr Nicky Keay

In this weeks episode I talk to Dr Nicky Keay about RED-S, Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. How her love of ballet and a career in medicine has provided her with the opportunity to study RED-S and the impact it can have on health and perfomance in athletes from all walks of life

Dr Nicky Keay has a BA in Medical Tripos and medical qualifications MB, BChir from Cambridge University. Nicky has extensive clinical and research experience in Endocrinology and Sport/Dance and Exercise Medicine involving elite athletes, professional ballet dancers and young aspiring athletes. As a Research Fellow at St Thomas’ Hospital  she was part of the international medical team working to develop a test to detect athletes doping with growth hormone, supported by the International Olympic Committee. Her other research studies investigated the effects of training and nutrition on the Endocrine system, body composition and bone mineral density, supported by medical research awards. These various research projects led to a number of publications and awards.

More recently, Nicky has turned her attention to an integrated and personalised approach to optimising health and fitness.  She regularly blogs on Sport Endocrinology: the reciprocal network interactions of the Endocrine system, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness over on the British Journal of Sport Medicine. She wrote the BASEM educational online resource for RED-S Health4Performance. Which we discuss. 

As Honorary Fellow in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University, She conducts clinical research in sports/dance endocrinology. She is available for appointments at the EN:SPIRE clinic

Outside of all of the academic achievements, she is an experienced ballet dancer, choreographer and teacher. Shei s also a pilates instructor

Nicky says, "My aim is to redefine optimal health and fitness for the individual. My approach integrates all aspects of my professional clinical experience with my medical research expertise in Endocrinology and Sport, Dance and Exercise Medicine".

Nicola Keay website:

Indicators and correlates of energy availability in dancers:
Low energy availability assessed by a sport-specific questionnaire and clinical interview indicative of bone health, endocrine profile and cycling performance in competitive male cyclists.
Website to raise awareness of low energy availability and educate coaches and athletes:
The IOC consensus statement: beyond the Female Athlete Triad--Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)
Burke LM, Lundy B, Fahrenholtz IL, Melin AK. Pitfalls of Conducting and Interpreting Estimates of Energy Availability in Free-Living Athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Jul 1;28(4):350-363.
The LEAF questionnaire: a screening tool for the identification of female athletes at risk for the female athlete triad
Fahrenholtz IL, Sjödin A, Benardot D, Tornberg ÅB, Skouby S, Faber J, Sundgot-Borgen JK, Melin AK. Within-day energy deficiency and reproductive function in female endurance athletes. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018 Mar;28(3):1139-1146.