Navigation Links
Study finds fat and bone mass are genetically linked
Date:3/11/2013

When it comes to body shape, diet and exercise can only take us so far. Our body shape and geometry are largely determined by genetic factors. Genetics also have an impact on our body composition including soft fat tissue and hard bone tissue and can lead to excess fat or osteoporosis.

Now Prof. Gregory Livshits of Tel Aviv University's Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, working alongside Dr. Michael Korostishevsky, has uncovered a clear genetic link between fat and bone mass. These factors, which contribute to bone metabolism, also affect Body Mass Index (BMI), which often serves as an indicator of overall health.

Reported in the journal Bone, this finding is a step towards understanding how these tissues are inter-related on a biological level, and will help doctors develop better treatment plans for patients dealing with fat or bone related pathologies. "When a patient is prescribed a medication, it is always important to know the potential side effects," says Prof. Livshits. As a result of this genetic connection, "a medication that is prescribed to treat obesity might have a negative impact on skeletal health," he says.

Connections forged in fat and bone

Previous studies revealed that osteocalcin, a protein produced by bone cells, has an impact not only on bone but also on fat tissue metabolism. The protein's function is associated with bone formation and bone mineralization. But recent data suggest that osteocalcin is also involved in the regulation of glucose and fat metabolism and that osteocalcin levels are lower in obese and overweight individuals. Prof. Livshits and Dr. Korostishevsky set out to determine the underlying mechanism of this osteocalcin link whether it was purely environmental or had a genetic basis.

The researchers conducted their study on a European population called the Chuvasha descendants of Bulgarian tribes that have lived along the Volga River for more than a thousand years. As a relatively isolated and ethnically homogeneous population, they are highly appropriate for the study of genetic effects. 1,112 participants over the age of 20 hailing from a total of 230 families were tested for variants in the osteocalcin gene. Genetic information was analyzed in connection with measurements that reflect body mass, including BMI, thickness of skin folds, reflecting the amount of fat beneath the skin and others.

"We discovered a statistically significant association between osteocalcin gene variants and measures of body mass, suggesting the involvement of this gene in body mass regulation," says Prof. Livshits. To check the reliability of their findings, they asked researchers at Tulane University in Louisiana to test the same association between genetic variants of the osteocalcin gene and body mass measurements in an extensive sample of 2,244 Americans of European background. The results revealed a very similar pattern.

Balancing treatment

Because the connection between fat and bone mass has been shown to be genetic rather than environmental, related issues can't be addressed separately, Prof. Livshits says. Bisphosphonates, for example, are effective agents for the treatment of bone mineral density loss and are therefore commonly used to treat osteoporosis. However, it is also important to know how this therapy impacts fat tissue. "After a few years of treatment that improves the bones, we don't want to discover that we have harmed the fat tissue in the process," he adds.

In parallel studies, the researchers are also investigating the FTO (fat mass and obesity-associated) gene, which has been shown to impact fat and lean body mass and is suspected to impact bone mineral density too. Their future research will explore the extent to which osteocalcin, FTO, and several other genes impact muscle mass in addition to fat and bone mass. It is important to understand the extent to which these genes contribute to interdependence of all major body composition components, says Prof. Livshits.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New study explores link between status and health
2. Neck injuries linked to high costs for patients and spouses, reports study in Spine
3. Study: Mega Vitamins Wont Help After Heart Attack, Chelation Treatment Might
4. Niacin Wont Help, May Harm Heart Patients: Study
5. Study: Diabetic medication may protect patients from developing heart failure
6. Results released for first multicenter study of hybrid revascularization
7. Doctors Health Press Reports on German Study: Only 20% of Patients Get Colonoscopies, Important in Preventing and Diagnosing Colon Cancer
8. Bel Marra Health Reports on a New Study: Parents are Much More Likely to Experience Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
9. Study: HPV Genital Warts is Most Common Sexually Transmitted Infection in U.S. Military, polyDNA Recommends Gene-Eden-VIR Against the HPV Infection
10. Mayo Clinic study finds electric car does not interfere with implanted cardiac devices
11. Center For Sight Selected to Participate in Corneal Transplant Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Amica Life Insurance Company has unveiled ... various life stages. , The site launched on April 1, and it has ... to the times when life insurance matters most. , “Through our research, we ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 ... ... the Results and Data Book for the 2016 Main Residency Match® (“the Match”), ... residency positions in United States teaching institutions. A record-high 30,750 positions were placed ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Over $60 Billion is spent annually on ... and toys, leading product review site for Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM) announced ... their Spring Showcase at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. , Chosen from ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... This week ... for its 2016 guest season which runs through October. Omega is offering a record ... , “There has never been such widespread interest in or need for ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... Dr. Rassouli, dentist in Orange County, CA comments on the ... was published in the “Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,” more than a third ... Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that dental problems may increase the risk of heart ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... Glycotope GmbH, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company built ... Dr. Alfredo Zurlo as Chief Medical Officer. ... years clinical experience and a proven track record in ... at Mologen AG where he was Chief Medical Officer ... held various positions at F Hoffmann La Roche and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016   Click ... Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), the nation,s largest ... signed a definitive agreement to acquire Valley Campus ... Pharmacy ("TNH"), a leading specialty pharmacy that provides ... Nuys, California . In 2015, TNH generated ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Research and ... Plastic Surgery Products Market 2016-2020" report to their ... , The global plastic surgery products market ... during the period 2016-2020. , ,The growing adoption of ... the growth of the market. Lasers are used to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: