Medical News Today reported that recent research presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) found that men’s stomach fat may be a risk factor for developing osteoporosis.
“It is important for men to be aware that excess belly fat is not only a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes, it is also a risk factor for bone loss,” said study investigator Miriam Bredella, M.D., a radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, as quoted by the source.
According to the report based on the study, there are different kinds of fat. Visceral fat, which is located beneath the muscle tissue, is linked to the bone condition, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, which sits underneath the skin. Genetics, diet and exercise can all be attributed to visceral fat.
For the research, Bredella and her colleagues analyzed 35 obese males with a mean age of 34 years old using an imaging technique called computed tomography scans to measure the muscle and fat on their abdomens and thighs. To record the subjects’ bone strength, finite element analysis (FEA), was utilized, which is usually used by mechanical engineers to gauge the strength of building materials.
The results showed a correlation between high levels of visceral fat and bone weakness as well as relationships between increased bone strength and muscle mass.
Bredella also noted that most studies that deal with osteoporosis focus on women, and men are usually considered to be less affected by bone loss.
According to the Mayo Clinic, early symptoms of osteoporosis include back pain, a loss of height and frequent bone fractures. The source recommends that people see a physician if they have early risk factors, such as early menopause, a loss of height, taking corticosteroids for a long time or having family members who suffer from osteoporosis.
There are a variety of other risk factors of osteoporosis, which cannot be changed, such as sex, age, race, family history and body size. The Mayo Clinic notes that women are more likely to develop the condition, especially those who are white, Asian or have smaller statures. As age increases so does the likelihood of developing osteoporosis.
Diet and lifestyle can also play a role in developing the bone disorder. These include factors like calcium intake, eating disorders, alcohol abuse, leading a sedentary lifestyle using tobacco. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin D can aid in calcium absorption and protect against osteoporosis. People can get vitamin D from fortified cereals and milks, as well as a Skinny D supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.