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Beer Bellies Make Your Bones Weaker, Study



Men with beer guts risk the health of their bones, new research suggests. According to findings presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, men with excess visceral body fat are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. This finding underscores the fact that osteoporosis is not merely a woman's health issue, and that body fat plays a role in the disease. 

Dr. Miriam Bredella, associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and radiologist at Massachussetts General Hospital led a research team which investigated belly fat's impact on bone health.

In order to achieve their objective, Bordella's team selected 35 obese males (BMI 36.5 kg/m2) whom were divided into a low visceral abdominal fat (low VAT) group and a high visceral abdominal fat (high VAT) group.

The men were evaluated using a variety of methods including cat scans of the abdomen, thigh and forearm as well as a technique known as micro-finite element analysis (FEA) to assess fat, muscle mass bone strength and predict future risk of bone fractures. 

Bordella and her colleagues' study followed on the heels of findings from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study, which found that obese men were at increased risk for developing bone fractures.

When Bordella and her team looked at the results of the FEA of thirty-five obese men in their study, they found that the bones of men with higher visceral and total abdominal body fat were twice as weak and stiffer than men with lower abdominal and visceral body fat.

Bordella and her team concluded that visceral body fat was "detrimental" to bone health.

When presenting her findings Dr. Bordella said: "We were not surprised by our results that abdominal and visceral fat are detrimental to bone strength in obese men." Yet, some results were not what her team expected.  In fact the Harvard Medical School researcher said her team was surprised to learn "that obese men with a lot of visceral body fat had significantly decreased bone strength compared to obese men with low visceral fat but similar BMI."

Yes, you read that correctly - high abdominal body fat stiffens and weakens men's bones. In contrast, the bones of men with high subcutaenous body fat tended to be healthier.

Multiple studies have linked excess abdominal fat with higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Now scientists have presented evidence that it increases men's risk for developing osteoporosis, a very serious physical condition that in itself can eventually prove fatal.

On the bright side, the study also showed that muscle mass was associated with strong bones, and there are a couple of ways to strengthen bones and increase muscle mass.

First of all, calcium strengthens bone and lowers cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk. There are many calcium rich foods including:

  • milk
  • yogurt
  • eggs
  • almonds
  • cheese

Moreover, weight bearing exercises increase muscle mass and make the bones stronger.

Therefore if you look at it from that point of view, exercise and nutrition may be effective in preventing osteoporosis and other potentially serious problems associated with obesity.

But if there is one take home message from Bordella's study it is this: excess belly fat is definitely hazardous to your health.


God does not care about skin color because all humans are descended from Adam. In heaven there shall be people of all nations and languages singing priases to Him. We must accept that Jesus Christ who is the second Adam died for our sins and rose on the third day and we shall also be in heaven with God.


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Article Source

RSNA Press Release.  


"Beer Bellies Make Your Bones Weaker, Study" copyright © 2012 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



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