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Some overweight adolescents may be at risk for weak bones
Date:3/4/2011

steocalcin, which helps decrease fat-related risk factors such as insulin resistance.

"We are now beginning to respect the bones as an endocrine organ like we do now with fat and muscle," Pollock noted. Activity also increases the number of bone-producing cells called osteoblasts.

The study appears to be the first analyzing bone-fat relationships and cardiometabolic risk factors in youth. Animal studies have shown, for example, that hypertensive mice have weaker bones.

Scientific literature on the impact of fat on bone health in children and adolescents has been confusing and even contradictory, writes Dr. Heidi J. Kalkwarf, Division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in an accompanying editorial in The Journal of Pediatrics. Pollock's research adds the "additional twist" that the presence of cardiometabolic risk factors indicates lower bone mass, she wrote.

The new study also raises more clinical questions, such as whether weight loss will help children improve bone mass and whether reduced mass during adolescence translates to increased fracture risk in adulthood, she wrote, noting that additional research is needed to assess long-term implications.

Peak bone mass is generally reached by early adulthood, so conditions that reduce optimal bone accumulation likely will lead to problems such as osteoporosis and fractures, the researchers report.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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