Health Briefs: Obesity and diabetes

January 18, 2016

Obesity and type 2 diabetes harm bones

Until recently, the medical community believed that body mass protects bones, but new data reveals that overweight people, including patients with type-2 diabetes, are actually at a higher risk of bone fractures than people of normal weight.

Researchers at the University of Missouri had come to this conclusion based on a study of three groups of rats. The first consisted of obese, insulin-resistant rats that exercised on running wheels; the second consisted of obese rats that took no exercise; the third consisted of a group of normal-weight rats that remained sedentary. As the study progressed, the bone mass of all rats did continue to grow, however, the sedentary rats did not accumulate as much bone mass relative to their accumulated body weight, such that their bone formation declined and they lost bone mass. Most importantly, the obese exercising rats had stronger bone health than those with normal weight, but which did not exercise.

This research indicates that obesity and type-2 diabetes have an effect on bone quality, and that exercise can strengthen bones, even in overweight and diabetic people.


Air pollution increases the risk of heart disease

Air pollution damages lungs, but it also affects the heart and circulatory system.

Harvard University researchers had conducted a 20-year study on air quality effects and found that terrible air quality conditions can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and irregular heart rhythms, particularly in people who have or are at risk for heart disease.

The most hazardous pollutants appear to be the tiny particles from vehicle exhausts, industrial factories, and wildfires. The diameter of the particles measure less than 2.5 micrometers. These particles irritate lung tissue, resulting in infections that spread to the bloodstream and damage the heart and blood vessels.

The study’s conclusion recommends that heart disease patients avoid outdoor exercise near heavy traffic settings or industrial areas to limit exposure to these small but highly detrimental particles.


Osteoporosis is preventable

Many postmenopausal women suffer from the silent threat of osteoporosis, which shows no signs in the early stages and is often discovered when it’s already too late for effective treatment.

According to research conducted at University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, effective prevention of osteoporosis must start at an early age.

The study gathered bone density data from 200 girls aged 9 to 13 years, separated into groups on the basis of age range and sports type. The objective was to find out which sport disciplines promote the greatest bone acquisition in developing girls. The results showed that adolescents who chose sports with a high osteogenic effect, such as basketball, handball or football, had stronger bones in comparison to those who chose sports with a low osteogenic effect, such as swimming.

This finding should help parents to plan for their children’s bone health.


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