Obesity may influence bone structure in adolescence

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Obesity has been formerly linked with the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, but the study establishes that it can also affect the bone structure in childhood and adolescence. Lead author Miriam A. Bredella, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, US, have also conveyed that, though obesity was formerly supposed to be protective of bone health, current studies have found a superior occurrence of forearm fractures in obese youth.

The study further revealed that, having an elevated amount of visceral fat — the deep fat in the abdomen that encloses the interior organs — coupled with a low amount of muscle mass — anorexia nervosa — puts adolescents at risk for weakened bone structure.

Miriam A. Bredella has also further conveyed that, visceral fat secretes substances that promote chronic inflammation, and chronic inflammation stimulates formation of osteoclasts, which are the cells that resorb or break-down bone.

In addition, vitamin D, which is significant for bone health, is soluble in adipose tissue and gets trapped within fat cells. Increase hormone, which is significant for bone health, is also inferior in adolescents with visceral obesity.

On the other hand, anorexia nervosa also leads to an augmented fracture risk in adolescence, which continued to adulthood, even subsequent to normalisation of body weight, Miriam A. Bredella conveyed, adding that it is significant to address this problem early on.

Lean mass was positively linked with trabecular density — a marker for the risk of osteoporosis –, volume and integrity. Miriam A. Bredella has also further conveyed adding that, the best way to prevent bone loss is a healthy diet that contains sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D, along with adequate exercise.