Bone Research Leads to Big Fat Discovery
Monday, March 17, 2008
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Gone are the days when one aspect of health, like bones, could be considered independently of another, like obesity. For example, back in January I reported how bone health directly prevented obesity and diabetes by supporting the production of adiponectin – a major discovery in and of itself. This month I have reported how obesity-driven low adiponectin is a major cause of aggressive breast cancer. By connecting the dots this leads one to conclude that bone health is vital for cancer prevention – seemingly unrelated areas of health.
Gene-related research shows complex interrelationships that defy simplistic categorization of different health topics into traditional categories. A case in point is another significant discovery about obesity that was stumbled onto during bone research. Researchers identified that osteoclasts that drive bone loss and help cause osteoporosis made too much of a specific enzyme called tartrate resistant acid phosphatase or TRAP. They bred a strain of mice to generate excessive TRAP so they could study exactly what it did to bones – and much to their surprise it made the mice fat.
This fortuitous discovery led to novel research published last week1. The research was able to show that macrophages (immune cells) acting within white adipose tissue (stored fat) used TRAP to generate new fat cells. Overweight people make 400% more TRAP than normal weight people – lending novel proof to the existing body of science that the process which drives an expanding waistline is an inflammatory process, in no small part caused by immune cells operating within stored fat.
We also know that too many osteoclasts operating within bone is based on inflammation as well, in turn contributing to the overall production of TRAP throughout your body. This links inflammation to bone loss and obesity, in a chicken and egg manner; i.e., wherein problems in one area help cause and/or lock in place problems in another area.
The bottom line is to manage stress well and reduce inflammation any way you can, otherwise multiple systems in your body are not likely to work properly. Nutrition within the Leptin Control Pack is targeted to assist fat-related inflammation as well as stress management. There are also many nutritional options to support healthy bones. Maintaining health in any one area is likely to be supportive of health in all areas.
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