People who are obese are more likely to suffer from ‘bone-fracture risk’ according to a study by researchers at the University of Missouri. It made sense to me as I imagined carrying extra weight would put extra pressure on joints and long bones. However, I’m not a medical person so I was completely wrong. The theory was that obese people would have greater bone mass (to support their greater body mass) which should mean less likelihood of breaks and fractures.
The density of minerals in the bones of diabetics has been found to be greater than in non-diabetics which would also lead to the belief that they have stronger bones. However, the tests showed that as the individuals grew they all accumulated bone mass but that the subjects that were obese suffered decreased bone formation and strength. Over time the individuals that were obese and sedentary began to lose bone mass but those that were overweight and continued to exercise did not.
A study published by the Endocrine Society monitored insulin and blood-sugar concentrations found that as insulin resistance doubled the bone strength decreased by as much as 14%. Links between blood-sugar concentrations and bone density were not found. The implication is that insulin resistance is somehow preventing the synthesis of bone tissue. Dr Preethi Srikanthan MD recognised that more work needs to be done to discover which of the events leads to the other. I believe it could be useful to find out why increased mineral density did not equal increased bone strength.
So being obese not only increases the risk of type 2 diabetes it can also increase the chances of having fragile bones but if you exercise regularly the risk is reduced.
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