Study: Bone Fat from Belly Fat?



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Health Study: Bone Loss From Excess Belly Fat? Fat in the abdominal cavity can lead to a decrease in bone density and trigger osteoporosis. This is the conclusion reached by US researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in a study on the relationship between body fat in women and the risk of osteoporosis.

The fact that women with a lot of belly fat are at higher risk of osteoporosis was quite surprising for the US scientists, according to Miriam Bredella from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, because overweight was previously considered to be related to osteoporosis mitigating rather than risk. However, her study has shown that women with a lot of fat in the abdominal cavity are more prone to osteoporosis or a decrease in bone density, the expert said. On the other hand, superficial love handles and curves on other parts of the body do not affect the bone density, Bredella continues.

Relationship between body fat distribution and bone density
With regard to other health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, several studies have already identified belly fat around the internal organs as a clear risk factor. Miriam Bredella and her research colleagues have now checked whether there is a similar relationship to the risk of osteoporosis. As part of their current study, the US researchers took a closer look at the body fat distribution and bone density in 50 overweight women. The study participants had an average body mass index (BMI) of 30 - from a BMI of 25, the experts speak of overweight, from 30 of obesity - which resulted in a significantly increased body fat percentage. In order to analyze the relationship to bone density, this was recorded in the study using so-called quantitative computed tomography. A method by which the mineral content in the bones can be determined, which serves as the basis for the diagnosis of osteoporosis or the risk of osteoporosis.

Internal belly fat increases the risk of osteoporosis According to the US researchers, it was striking that the risk of osteoporosis increased in connection with the so-called visceral fat, which is stored in the free abdominal cavity around the internal organs. With increasing internal abdominal fat, the bone density decreases, so the conclusion of the US scientist. However, the researchers were unable to establish a general relationship between bone density and obesity. "The bacon on the hips, for example, is not a risk factor in the development of osteoporosis compared to the internal belly fat," explained Miriam Bredella. In contrast to the rather soft subcutaneous fat tissue, visceral fat is not directly visible, but leads to an increase in the abdominal volume from a certain amount, which is typically expressed in a firm, bulging abdomen. In previous studies, the negative effect of internal abdominal fat on the cardiovascular system has been clearly scientifically proven. So far, however, the scientists have not been able to explain why this special type of adipose tissue, in which various hormones and messenger substances are formed, leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Women are more affected by bone loss than men Around the age of 30, the bone density of humans decreases, so that the risk of osteoporosis increases with age. Therefore, osteoporosis is the most common diagnosed bone disease in the elderly. Women are affected much more often than men. Around 80 percent of all osteoporoses affect postmenopausal women, with about 30 percent of all postmenopausal women suffering from clinically relevant osteoporosis. But men are also often affected by osteoporosis in old age, according to the US researchers, which is why Miriam Bredella and colleagues are currently preparing another examination on men in order to analyze the possible connection between internal abdominal fat and bone loss with them in more detail. (fp, 01.12.2010)

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