There are several correlations between the health in different parts of your body. Some symptoms that you endure are felt and related to other parts you may not even think of. Many wouldn’t guess that there is a connection between bone health and weight loss and exercise. Weight loss is typically linked to things like heart health and cholesterol, but believe it or not, the bones are greatly impacted by the amount of weight you carry on your body at any given time.
The UNC School of Medicine in North Carolina conducted research regarding just how these two things are correlated. One of the ways that this shows itself is that when fat is burned, it allows for subtle bone building to take place. So when you are active, you are readily helping your body mass to become stronger and more tightly compacted. Another way that obesity and weight affect bones is that many of the conditions that the overweight are prone to – like diabetes, arthritis or inflammation – deeply affect the bones and bone health.
Dr. May Styner explains, “One of the main clinical implications of this research is that exercise is not just good, but amazing for bone health. In just a very short period of time, we saw that running was building bone significantly in mice. I see a lot of patients with poor bone health, and I always talk to them about what a dramatic effect exercise can have on bones, regardless of what the cause of their bone condition is.”
This research shows that being active and keeping yourself at a healthy weight has tremendous benefits outside of what some may typically think. Bone health and density are key to preventing painful breaks or other symptoms of osteoporosis that result from weak bones. There is a specific type of fat that is present in the marrow that is associated with low-density levels in the bones. The same way excess fat can be a hindrance to the body can be found within the fat cells that live in the marrow as well.
During the research study, two separate groups of mice were evaluated. The group that had greater access to the running wheel for a six-week period of time lost more fat cells in their marrow. This was found to not only help their body composition but also the density in their bones. Consistent exercise improved the thickness of the bones which increased necessary bone health.
One of the mysteries that still needs to be better understood is the correlation between building better bones and the burning of marrow fat. There is a possibility that there is some type of delayed strengthening of bone that takes place when marrow fat is being burned but that has yet to be completely proven.
In order to surmise the correct findings, micro CT imaging is used to measure both the marrow fat and the bone density. There is even a sophisticated MRI machine that is employed for various types of observations of the bone and how it can change over the course of the experiment. One thing is for sure, bone health is not something that exists completely separate from many of the other common health concerns.