An­other rea­son to love your bones

There’s much more to our skele­ton than sup­port­ing our bod­ies

Prevention (Australia) - - In This Issue -

The col­lec­tion of bones that make up our body keep us mo­bile and pro­vide sup­port for our frame, but re­cent re­search has found that they also in­flu­ence blood sugar lev­els. Sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered that the hu­man skele­ton has a “me­tab­o­lism” of its own – some bone cells form new bone, while oth­ers re­ab­sorb it. This leads to a new skele­ton about ev­ery 10 years – though it can also cause dis­eases such as os­teo­poro­sis when the re­ab­sorp­tion is too ag­gres­sive. Bone cells use sugar as part of this process, and Bel­gian and French re­searchers con­duct­ing an an­i­mal study found that when bone cells “con­sumed” too much sugar, glu­cose lev­els in the blood dropped. Low blood sugar can lead to fa­tigue and be danger­ous for peo­ple with type 1 di­a­betes. Re­searchers hope th­ese find­ings con­trib­ute to fu­ture ther­a­pies for con­di­tions such as os­teo­poro­sis and di­a­betes.

An­other rea­son to love your bones

Your bones might help you lose weight. That’s a new dis­cov­ery by re­searchers from Swe­den’s Sahlgren­ska Acad­emy, who con­ducted a se­ries of tests fo­cus­ing on skele­tons and obe­sity. They found a mech­a­nism through which our bod­ies track and mod­er­ate weight. They linked this sys­tem to a type of cell in bone tis­sue that ac­ti­vates when it de­tects ad­di­tional pres­sure on weight bear­ing bones; then it sends a sig­nal to the brain to eat less. An­other rea­son why stay­ing ac­tive is an im­por­tant part of weight control.

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