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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Weight Loss Can Cause Bone Mass Loss

Traditional mainstream weight loss without a deliberate emphasis of fat loss bring numerous unhealthy side effects with it. One of the big health issues is with bone health. In addition to the majority of weight lost by traditional methods being from lean body mass, your bone health suffers as much as your muscles do. 

Here are some new terms for you to learn: Weight cycling is the repeated loss and regain of body weight, and occurs frequently in obese and overweight men and women in their attempts to lose weight and maintain a lower body weight. Weight cycling may also occur in men and women of normal body weight or in those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. The goal of intentional weight loss is to reduce fat mass, but there is typically an accompanying unwanted loss of lean body mass, including bone mass.

Next is Osteopenia which is a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is considered by many doctors to be a precursor to osteoporosis. Sarcopenia is the loss of lean body mass. Together, these two conditions are the real results of traditional weight loss. None of it is good for you.

Overweight dieters who cut calories but don't exercise lose more than weight -- they lose bone mass.
That finding comes from a study by Dennis T. Villareal, MD, and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis.

Your bones give your body its shape, help you move, and support your body. Your bones also help protect your heart, lungs, and brain. Even though your bones feel hard and rigid, bones are living tissues that are constantly rebuilding themselves during your life.

After about age 30, you can start to lose bone faster than your body makes bone, which makes your bones weaker and more likely to break. Add chronic weight loss and dieting to the mix and your bones are even more at risk.

If you just cut calories -- and don't exercise -- you harm your bones two ways. You may cut nutrients needed to maintain strong bones, and you don't stimulate bone growth.

People who have had gastric bypass surgery or other bariatric weight-loss surgery have an even higher increased risk of breaking bones than previously found. These study findings will be presented Tuesday at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.

During weight loss through calorie-restricted diets, bones are being remodeled - breaking down old bone and forming new bone - at an accelerated rate. At the same time, bone density is decreasing, causing increased fragility. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher and collaborators at the University of Kansas found that the potentially harmful effects of weight loss on bone persist during weight maintenance following moderate weight loss. 

Weight loss also changes your metabolism and hormone levels. The effects of weight loss on your hormones impacts your bone health. With weight loss, your cortisol levels rise which causes you to not only produce and store more body fat but you also become more catabolic, losing more lean body mass and bone mass. Estrogen levels can rise causing more fat storage and testosterone, IGF-1 and HGH levels can fall. All of these hormone fluctuations cause increased fat production, fat storage and lean body mass and bone mass loss.

The bottom line is that weight loss without fat loss is unhealthy. You should focus on losing fat and building and maintaining your lean body mass and bone mass regardless of what a scale reads. A good nutrition plan and exercise program combined with a healthy lifestyle will keep you lean, strong and healthy. 


Dempsey's Resolution Fitness
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