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Bone Hormone Linked to Obesity and Diabetes 218

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 iamacat ( 583406 ) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @05:10PM (#20205573)
    This is true on the most primitive level. However, for a significant number of people "eating correctly" will mean a 1000 calorie-a-day diet of pure protein and in addition to not being obese they will be constantly hungry and lethargic, lose muscle mass and suffer from various diseases associated with malnutrition. They really need medication as well as medically designed diet/exercise program to take care of those genes and hormones.

    Yes, 90% of fat people just need to lay off McDonald and other heavily processed food and throw away TVs.
  • You're correct. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2007 @05:14PM (#20205603)
    By far the best method of combatting obesity is exercise and "eating right". That means cut out the fats and sugars as much as possible.

    But people don't want to hear that, any more than they want to hear that credit cards don't magically pay themselves off, or that blowing the trust fund on film school won't automatically get them an Oscar-winning gig in Hollywood.

    We have become soft. People aren't chasing their food anymore.
  • by E++99 ( 880734 ) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @05:24PM (#20205663) Homepage

    The kids'll start obsessing over sports, and then fall into a downward spiral known as neo-neanderthalism, where their bodies begin to become suited for less intellectual pursuits.

    As none are present to defend themselves, I'd like to point out that neanderthals had larger brains than ours.
  • by BlackGriffen ( 521856 ) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @05:51PM (#20205829)
    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 possibility, however, is far more interesting and direct - exercise puts stresses on the bones that may stimulate the production of a hormone that aids in the proper regulation of energy metabolism.

    Kind of like how certain immune functions cease working in the absence of a gravitational field.

    Granted, the root of the problem is energy intake exceeding energy expended, but until one understands better the reasons why a person would eat more than they need it is futile to tell people to just stop.

    I've also wondered if part of the problem isn't that the modern, refined, carbohydrates are so concentrated. I mean, I would imagine that the human digestive system is capable of absorbing nutrients down to a certain concentration in the digestive fluids. If the calories are more concentrated, eg the food lacks fiber to give it indigestible bulk, then the body will absorb a larger fraction of the calories. So, another question I have is if it is significant to not just consider calories ingested, but calories ingested minus calories expelled.
  • by nido ( 102070 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {65odin}> on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:27PM (#20206037) Homepage
    For the audience, localroger wrote a k5 story on his metabolic syndrome: The Great Modern Glucose Poisoning Epidemic [].

    What's interesting is when you get down into the comments (#18), you mentioned that the condition snowballed after a surgery when you were 28.

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the fight or flight response is governed by the Triple Warmer (TW) meridian. When one's TW meridian is overactive, it takes energy from all the other meridians (save Heart meridian), but especially from the Spleen Meridian, which is opposite TW on the flow wheel. The Spleen meridian controls the pancreas and insulin production. Your surgery likely caused the TW to go into overdrive, and if you get your TW/Spleen meridians balanced, you could drink fine meads and ales again. :)

    A. For the blood sugar to stay balanced, it is crucial that spleen meridian be kept strong. This is done primarily by sedating triple warmer--which drains energy from spleen--and then by directly strengthening spleen. In Energy Medicine, you'll note that there are several ways to do this, and I'd have your daughter use every way possible since what is required with this illness is to literally retrain a deeply held energy habit in her body. To strengthen spleen meridian:

    [list of exercises]

    Changing the deep habit of a spleen/triple warmer imbalance will not only help keep her blood sugar in better balance, it can help create a new pattern of insulin production in her pancreas. The type of diabetes determines how much the illness can be turned around. If she was born without the ability to create insulin, she will probably always need to have it supplied externally, but even in that situation, the procedures described here will help her pancreas to function more optimally.

    -Donna Eden on Diabetes []

    Donna Eden is a modern mystic who, like the chinese sages of old, can 'see' the bodies energies. She's famous in her hometown of Ashland, Oregon, and had to move away because whenever someone saw her on the street they'd ask about their particular health problem, and she can't turn someone down. I haven't met her myself, but I had a few sessions with one of her long-time teaching assistants some 3 years ago (who can also see the body's subtle energies quite well, though not as well as Mrs. Eden), and I've been doing much better ever since.

    The book is a good introduction - most libraries have a copy.
  • by budword ( 680846 ) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @08:29PM (#20206845)
    I have been fat. Over 300lbs twice in my life. It's because I ate too much and sat on my ass too much. Fat people eat too much, and don't burn enough off. Saying anything else is a damn lie. It's easier for some people to eat less or burn those pounds off, but that doesn't change the basic equation.
  • by MikShapi ( 681808 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @01:39AM (#20208723) Journal
    Food is an addictive drug that interferes with thought (and consequently, your priorities), same as with many other drugs.

    There is a problem with your holier-than-thou approach, however, as applied to food.

    With (illegal) drugs, you can squarely lay the blame with the junkie. You can't really blame him when he's in junkie stage, his brain is past telling him to stop at that point, but you can say he should have been responsible when he still had a working sense of judgement and be right. He chose to do something stupid when he had a functional head on his shoulders, and he carries full responsibility for his actions.

    With food, nobody, not even you, can avoid exposure, and that exposure is dictated by our environment way before we make informed conscious choices about what and how much to eat. In modern-day America, many are food junkies long before they reach the point of actively choosing their diet, and are letting their "habit" (in the "addiction" sense) dictate their diet from that moment on. It's not the same for everyone either. Some have a metabolism that soaks up fat like a sponge, others don't. Some had folks that got them on MCD's from age 3, others gave them good food. Couple a few of these wrong parameters together, and some people become mature before becoming hooked, others get hooked before maturity and end up never having sat behind the steering wheel of their diet - they're effectively addicts from zero to the day they die, with a high "will" barrier to cross to get out (which statistically, many of them will not have the means to traverse).

    Without any intention of lessening the load of personal responsibility on any individual, some people really never get to a point where they can choose to stop with a clear head, and blaming them is halfway to blaming someone who was born in a coma and stayed in a coma for all his life for being in a coma. If any person's (yours not excluded) sense of judgement is distorted enough by chemicals, liability over his decisions while so becomes a slippery slope you're on the right side of only by chance.

    You're not better than many of those people, just luckier, and are thus on very slippery moral ground.
    I suggest you tread lightly.

  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <> on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:18AM (#20208901)

    Every time I see a news story that is 'blah blah 40% of the population is obese' I often wonder where these people are.

    All around you, they just don't _look_ like it.

    That statistic you hear is based on BMI. BMI is, at best, an unreliable indicator for a) whether or not someone "looks obese" (obviously very overweight, rolls of fat, multiple chins, no muscle definition anywhere, etc, etc) and b) whether they're "unfit" (gets puffed running up stairs, does no exercise, etc).

    For example, I have a BMI of about 31 (=medically obese). However, I'm 189cm and "built like a tank", so while I definitely have a pot belly, I doubt many people would look and consider me "obese" - especially since I have reasonably good muscle definition on my arms and legs. I cycle a ~25km round-trip to work (without raising much of a sweat) and play a 40 minute game of indoor soccer once a week (again, without feeling exhausted afterwards). So while overweight, I'm not really unfit and I can't think of anyone who has ever referred to me as "obese" or looked at me in that "I can't believe you're so fat" way. However, my weight has been stable at its current level for 5+ years now and short of seriously intrusive dieting (= food I didn't really enjoy eating and feeling hungry 24/7) I haven't been able to lose it (or, rather, I did but it came back).

    The "best" my BMI has ever been was 24.something, back in the middle of high school (just under "overweight"). I was about 180cm and weighed around 80kg. At the time, I was cycling ~30km daily (to and from school), training 1-2hrs a day for soccer and/or volleyball, swimming a kilometre ~3 times a week and playing 3-5 games of very competitive soccer and/or volleyball every week. For the last two years of high school, with a similar level of exercise, my BMI rose to (just) over 25. So I would have fit into that x% of the population that was being reported as "overweight", despite being extremely fit and not *looking* at all overweight.

    The short version is, a hell of a lot of people are medically overweight or obese, but don't look it because of their body type - they just look "pudgy". That's where most of that "x% of the population is obese" is hiding.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson