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Frequent Weight Gain And Loss May Weaken Men's Bones

Posted May 09 2008 3:32pm

A study by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo examined 4,601 men between the ages of 25 and 50 for 28 years. The researchers found that the more often these men lost and regained weight, the more likely they were to suffer a fractured forearm after the age of 50.

The researchers believe that weight cycling causes an increase in skeletal fragility by causing microscopic damage to bone structure. They also think this may occur due to an increased risk of falling due to weakening muscles.

The researchers also found that those who lost weight more frequently, and lost more weight each time, were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Of those who reported no weight loss cycles before age 50, about 17 to 18 percent had forearm fractures. The rate was 35 to 43 percent among men who lost weight at least four times. Those who lost weight at least four times before the age of 50 had nearly triple the risk of forearm fracture after 50.

Dr. Anne Johanne Sogaard of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health suggest to keep bones strong when they lose weight, people should make sure to exercise during the weight loss. Sogaard says, “we know that weight-bearing activities, weight-training and exercise with varied loadings (e.g. squash, badminton, tennis) are favorable for muscles and balance, as well as bones.”

I think this mostly has to do with the microscopic damage to bone, as the article states. This makes sense since weight loss is catabolic to the whole body. By being in a catabolic state over and over, it would seem likely that people would suffer fragile bones later in life.

Reference: MedLine Plus

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