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:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... Florida Hospital presents ... take on the St. Louis Blues at the Amalie Arena. The puck drops at ... walk-through heart exhibit, the MEGA Heart, prior to the game. The MEGA Heart will ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... reverse diabetes has been gearing up for their simultaneous grand openings in March. ... about right now that you’re probably wondering, is reversing diabetes possible? According to ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... veEDIS Clinical Systems, LLC, ... highly adaptable algorithms, has been updated to help Emergency Department physicians and nurses ... with Zikas and a travel history to affected regions, or potential exposure through ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... the commencement of a master charity program created to assist the people of ... days, working closely with nonprofit organizations and community leaders. Their hope is to ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... ... Dickinson Insurance & Financial Services continues their commitment to act as Agents ... local boy named Barrett, who has been fighting ALL leukemia for almost two years. ... all local families dealing with childhood cancer. Information on how to help is now ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- Walgreens has committed to provide drug disposal kiosks ... D.C. as part of a program to combat ... advocacy organization As You Sow. Conrad MacKerron , ... on to unneeded drugs because they lack easily accessible collection ... --> Conrad MacKerron , Senior Vice President at As ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Ga. , Feb. 11, 2016  MiMedx Group, ... company utilizing human amniotic membrane and other birth tissues, ... platforms to develop and market advanced products and therapies, ... Capital Markets, 2016 Global Healthcare Conference in ... Chairman and CEO, Michael J. Senken , Chief ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... de 2016  A Proliant Biologicals anuncia, com ... bovina (BSA -- Bovine Serum Albumin ) ... Norte da Nova Zelândia, em Feilding. ... da Proliant nos EUA, localizada em ... dos equipamentos foram feitos de forma a reproduzir ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: