-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Excess fat in blood, muscle
and the liver may increase the risk of osteoporosis, a new study
Researchers measured fat in more than 100 men and women, ageD 19
to 45, who were obese but otherwise healthy. Those with more liver
and muscle fat had higher levels of fat in their bone marrow, the
Higher levels of bone marrow fat put people at increased risk of
fractures, according to the authors of the study published online
July 16 in the journal
"Bone marrow fat makes bones weak. If you have a spine that's filled with fat, it's not going to be as strong," study lead author Dr. Miriam Bredella, a radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a journal news release.
She and her colleagues also found that people with elevated
levels of fat in their blood had higher levels of bone marrow
"Obesity was once thought to be protective against bone loss. We have found that this is not true," Bredella said.
Previous studies have looked at the relationship between fat and
bone mineral density.
"In our study, we focused on bone marrow fat because that is where our stem cells can develop into osteoblasts -- the cells responsible for bone formation -- or fat cells," Bredella said. "We also wanted to look at the relationship between bone marrow fat and other fat components, such as those in the liver and muscle."
The study does not prove that excess blood and organ fat
actually cause osteoporosis. More research is needed to explore the
mechanisms involved in this association, Bredella said.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains how to
healthy bones at every age.
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