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Different fat types can help or hinder obese girls' bone health

Date:
March 14, 2010
Source:
The Endocrine Society
Summary:
Obese teenage girls with a greater ratio of visceral fat (fat around internal organs) to subcutaneous fat (fat found just beneath the skin) are likely to have lower bone density than peers with a lower ratio of visceral to subcutaneous fat, according to a new study.

According to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), obese teenage girls with a greater ratio of visceral fat (fat around internal organs) to subcutaneous fat (fat found just beneath the skin) are likely to have lower bone density than peers with a lower ratio of visceral to subcutaneous fat.

"Visceral fat is known to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease in obese people," said Madhusmita Misra, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and senior author of the study. "Our study suggests that visceral fat may also have an impact on bone health. This finding is particularly relevant given the rising prevalence of obesity and recent studies suggesting a higher risk of fractures in some obese individuals."

In this study, researchers examined 30 adolescent girls (15 obese/15 normal weight) between the ages of 12 and 18 years. After measuring weight and height, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure subcutaneous and visceral fat tissue and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to assess bone density at the spine, hip and whole body. They found that subcutaneous fat and visceral fat had reciprocal associations with bone density measures, with subcutaneous fat demonstrating positive associations and visceral fat demonstrating inverse associations.

"We do not yet fully understand the chemical mediators of the associations between regional fat and bone health," said Misra. "It is possible that inflammatory cytokines, types of signaling molecules used in cellular communication, or hormones like adiponectin or leptin are potential mediators of these associations between fat and bone, but further studies are needed to determine their true impact on bone metabolism."

Other researchers working on the study include Melissa Russell, Nara Mendes, Karen Miller and Anne Klibanski of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.; Clifford Rosen of Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Scarborough, Maine; and Hang Lee of Harvard Catalyst in Boston, Mass.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Russell et al. Visceral Fat Is a Negative Predictor of Bone Density Measures in Obese Adolescent Girls. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2010; DOI: 10.1210/jc.2009-1475

Cite This Page:

The Endocrine Society. "Different fat types can help or hinder obese girls' bone health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301091415.htm>.
The Endocrine Society. (2010, March 14). Different fat types can help or hinder obese girls' bone health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301091415.htm
The Endocrine Society. "Different fat types can help or hinder obese girls' bone health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301091415.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

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