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Science

Bone Hormone Linked to Obesity and Diabetes 218

Posted by Zonk
from the keep-your-skeleton-happy dept.
grrlscientist writes "New research has shown that the skeletal system may be an important player in preventing obesity and type-2 diabetes in animals. This may also be true for humans, and thus represents an important development for the treatment of these health conditions. From the article: 'Not only do bones produce a protein hormone, osteocalcin (pictured), that regulates bone formation, but this hormone also protects against obesity and glucose intolerance by increasing proliferation of pancreatic beta cells and their subsequent secretion of insulin. Osteocalcin was also found to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin and as well as reducing its fat stores ... "The skeleton used to be thought of as just a structural support system. This opens the door to a new way of seeing the bones," said Dr. Gerard Karsenty, chairman of the department of genetics and development at Columbia University Medical Center in NYC, who headed the team that made the discovery.'"
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Bone Hormone Linked to Obesity and Diabetes

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  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @03:40PM (#20205335)
    It still seems that not eating massive amounts of sugar (as most Americans do) might help prevent diabetes, too.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Really? It seems that the US really isn't as high [illovosugar.com] as what you'd expect.
       
      Stop being a fucking troll and blaming Americans for everything.
      • by shawb (16347) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @04:08PM (#20205563)
        I notice a distinct lack of high fructose corn syrup in that data. It simply measures cane and beet sugar. Also such extremely inexpensive calorie laden ingredients such as "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" are missing as well.
      • by Rob Riggs (6418)
        Your response is misleading at best. That table shows only sucrose (table sugar) consumption. Americans get fully 2/3rds of their sugar from high-fructose corn syrup. Reference: http://www.card.iastate.edu/iowa_ag_review/winter _ 05/article5.aspx [iastate.edu]

        One needs to be clear whether on is using the term "sugar" to mean "any monosaccharide or disaccharide" or specifically "sucrose" (table sugar).
    • Sugar? You have sugar in the US?

      I would have thought you only had "great tasting sugar-flavored carbon hydrate substitute" products... ;-)

      - Jesper
      • by CptNerd (455084)

        ..."great tasting sugar-flavored carbon hydrate substitute" products...
        Part of this complete breakfast!

        • ... along with the "butter flavored spread", which has never been close to anything remotely resembling actual butter?
    • by Jartan (219704)
      Really? So are you trying to say science shouldn't be used to allow me to eat more sugar? Because I'm pretty sure I want to eat whatever the hell I feel like. Having to eat a horrid diet might give you a healthy body but it's not optimal in any way. Most of the people who have to do it against their wills are still suffering. Substituting mental suffering for physical suffering is not a be all end all cure.
      • Really? So are you trying to say science shouldn't be used to allow me to eat more sugar? Because I'm pretty sure I want to eat whatever the hell I feel like.
        I suppose you have a point if your country forces you to pay for the healthcare you'll need as a result of your "eat-what-I-want" diet.
      • by dfghjk (711126)
        Sugar IS a horrible diet, and whatever "the hell" you feel like eating is very much a function of the diet you have, healthy or not. All the "mental and physical suffering" you imagine occurs from eating a good diet has no basis in fact if you had eaten a good diet all along, while the "mental and physical suffering" that results from obesity and adult-onset diabetes is very real.
        • by Jartan (219704)

          Sugar IS a horrible diet, and whatever "the hell" you feel like eating is very much a function of the diet you have, healthy or not.

          Your point being? My entire post was about how we should use science to allow me to eat a horrible diet in the first place. Also your full of it trying to make grandiose claims about how people who've eaten a good diet all along don't wish to eat things that are bad for them. Anyone who's actually ever studied something like diabetes will tell you very clearly: Science stil

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mh1997 (1065630)

      It still seems that not eating massive amounts of sugar (as most Americans do) might help prevent diabetes, too.

      I am sick and tired of people suggesting that I have some sort of responsibility and accountability for my actions. We Americans can do, say, and act any way we like without consequences. And if someone does try to hold me accountable, I will sue the hell out of them and whine to my congressman about the need for the government to take care of victims like me.

  • that old nice way of saying "she's fat": "she's just big boned", might actually be true?
  • Bone Hormone Linked to Obesity and Diabetes

    Come on, we all know that fat people and diabetics find themselves unable to bone even when they get a rare opportunity.
  • by edittard (805475) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @04:04PM (#20205541)
    You mean viagra? (Or as we scientists call it, \/1@gr@ )
  • Endocrine Function (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LightPhoenix7 (1070028) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @04:20PM (#20205643)

    Firstly, this isn't Digg, can we please not link to blogs? The original paper from Cell is here: http://download.cell.com/pdfs/0092-8674/PIIS009286 7407007015.pdf [cell.com].

    Secondly, this is exciting news, but not exactly surprising. The differentiation of cells starts in the bone marrow, and there are biochemical signals that start that process. It's not surprising that some of these would be in bone marrow.

    Finally, must these articles always make a point to imply that obesity is cause by some random genetic/biochemical "magic bullet," instead of eating poorly and not exercising? I understand that they need funding, and implying you may be able to "cure" obesity is a great way to get it. Even so, I think there's something rather disingenious about it.

    • I've repeatedly heard it said that you would have to run for an insane amount of time to burn off the extra calories from just one cookie, so it isn't in that fashion that exercise helps with weight problems. The only alternative explanation I've heard involves endorphins and whatnot. I've suspected that it may be due to the fact that repairing the damage done to one's body during exercise is metabolically more expensive than just doing the motions, but had no idea whether this was true or not. This possibi
      • was corn-based byproducts (corn syrup?). Most cookies, like most snacks (in box listed portions of course) are around 180 calories. I run about 1 mile at a 10% grade for just over 10 minutes to burn that. My treadmill has on of those digital counters. Changes the way I think about having a beer or buying that bag of potato chips. But I wouldn't call 1 mile insane, just a bit of a disincentive.
        • by dfghjk (711126)
          The only reason that corn syrup is the biggest culprit is that it is corn syrup that is the dominant sweetner. If HFCS were entirely replaced with cane sugar, nothing regarding obesity would change at all. People here fail to realize that, but then, if they can blame HFCS for everything then they have a convenient enemy and don't have to face the facts.

          Yes it is true that HFCS is the devil. That doesn't mean that sugar isn't.

          Weight management isn't simply a matter of running off the calories you take in.
          • by mpe (36238)
            Your body expects a natural diet that is much different than what we eat today, and equating all calories makes any evaluation of diet virtually useless.

            The whole "calorie thing" is also flawed in that humans eating food is not equivalent to burning the same food in pure oxygen.
      • by Graff (532189) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:19PM (#20206403)

        I've repeatedly heard it said that you would have to run for an insane amount of time to burn off the extra calories from just one cookie, so it isn't in that fashion that exercise helps with weight problems.
        The amount of calories burned during exercise is only the tip of the iceberg.

        Exercising burns up glucose and puts a demand on your body to change how it processes foods. As a result of these changes your body's metabolism increases not only the rate at which it burns calories during exercise but it will also be elevated for a good amount of time afterwards. This means that you burn calories for the actual exercise done but you will also burn more after you have finished exercising, taken your shower, and sat down at your desk to do some work. Here is an article [about.com] on this phenomenon.

        In addition, by exercising you are telling your body that changes need to be made. Part of exercise is the microscopic tearing of muscle fibers, stress on capillaries and other transport systems within your body, and the release of various hormones related to your exertion. Your body's overall response is to rebuild and bolster these systems. You grow more muscle tissue, your capillaries increase their ability to carry more blood, various organs and cellular structures configure themselves for the next bought of exercise. All of these actions take energy and they put food to a better use than simply turning into fat around your waist.

        Finally, now you have more muscle mass, better circulation, and so on. This generally results in an overall higher metabolic rate because your body has prepared itself to provide you with more energy at all times. The higher metabolic rate burns more calories even when you aren't exercising and allows you to exert yourself even more the next time you do exercise.

        So there's a lot more going on than the simple "1 Calorie will lift 155 pounds to 20 feet in the air". You body changes with exercise and that is where the real weight loss begins.
      • I've repeatedly heard it said that you would have to run for an insane amount of time to burn off the extra calories from just one cookie, so it isn't in that fashion that exercise helps with weight problems.

        One 12oz McFlurry at 560 calories would take just over an hour [calorieking.com] of jogging to burn off -- the site shows that's for a 35 year old 144 lb female, adjust as appropriate for weight/gender. On the elliptical machines in the gym, I can sustain about 20 calories per minute so this would be a 28 minute intense sweat-soaked workout just to break even after eating one of those!

      • by Kandenshi (832555)
        It's true that exercise doesn't directly burn off THAT many calories, unless you exercise long and hard.

        What exercise does do though, is build muscle mass. Muscles (even at rest) use a higher number of calories than fat cells do. So running those kilometers and lifting those weights burns some calories off directly, and then the new muscles you have will continue to burn off calories while you sit on your progressively more muscular butt watching TV.

        Trying to lose weight off of pure cardio is difficult, c
      • I thought that "Exercise will regulate your appetite" was well accepted as at least part of the explanation? As far as I know, exercise will lower appetite for a period for men, especially heavy exercise (weight lifting and similar) is effective. For women, there is much less of an effect, and if they're eating fat heavy, there are studied that show the effect work the opposite direction, see Effects of short-term exercise on appetite responses in unrestrained females [nih.gov]. (Though that's only one study.)

        WR

      • by Eivind (15695)
        Part of it is also that muscles burn significantly more calories than fat -- even when resting.

        Having a lot of muscle is expensive to the body, so it'll tend to do away with it when it's "not needed" and if you live a life with little movement and exersize, the body will think the muscle is "not needed".

        So, running X miles may only burn Y calories -- during the actual exersize. But it'll *also* let you burn some extra calories thereafter, the extra muscles you build burn calories even when you sleep.

        So, a f
        • by tuxette (731067) *
          Fat does not burn any calories at any time.

          Having a lot of muscle is expensive to the body, so it'll tend to do away with it when it's "not needed" and if you live a life with little movement and exersize, the body will think the muscle is "not needed".

          This is also why when you starve yourself to lose weight or whatever, the muscles are the first to go. When the body is in starvation and thus survival mode, it gets rid of what expends the most energy first. Bye-bye muscles...

          By the way, aerobic exercise is
    • by dfghjk (711126)
      "Finally, must these articles always make a point to imply that obesity is cause by some random genetic/biochemical "magic bullet," instead of eating poorly and not exercising?"

      If such a "magic bullet" existed, then yes they would. Why would anyone simply take it for granted that the problem is simply overeating and lack of exercise? Perhaps those that look for other explanations realize that such a naive explanation is false and useless. Why would the scientific method be discarded in this case?

      "I under
    • by FleaPlus (6935)
      Firstly, this isn't Digg, can we please not link to blogs?

      Although I also wish that the summary included a link to the original paper, I found the blog entry by GrrlScientist to be a good layman's summary of the research, and was glad it was linked.
  • When I visited the doctor the last time they measured my waist, and said (to my great surprise) that 92 cm (36 in) is the recommended measure for men of ANY length.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein

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