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Rheumatology News: Osteoporosis Linked to Obesity Hormone

Posted by floriza in Rheumatology

A rheumatology study was conducted at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The researchers found that an obesity hormone called adiponectin is linked to the risk of developing osteoporosis. Adiponectin has already been linked to cardiovascular disease.

The study in Sweden also found that elevated levels of the hormone make someone with osteoporosis more prone to bone fractures, as the bones are more fragile and the muscles weaker in these patients. These patients also tend to age faster and have less muscle mass.

Osteoporosis is a disease which is characterized by weak and brittle bones. People with the disease can sometimes suffer a fracture from something as innocuous as a sneeze. The wrists, spinal vertebrae, and the hips are most vulnerable to fractures. Osteoporosis patients are low in calcium, which, in turn, serves to cause low bone density. Rheumatology is the field in medicine that treats osteoporosis.

Vitamin D and Osteoporosis

Vitamin D is crucial for everyone, but especially for people with osteoporosis or at high risk of developing osteoporosis. This is because the body needs sufficient vitamin D in order to absorb calcium. Without it, someone can consume great amounts of foods containing calcium to no avail.

Most cases of osteoporosis occur in the elderly, who already have reduced amounts of vitamin D in their bodies as a consequence of the aging process. In fact, the elderly have been shown to have four times less ability to produce vitamin D. So, older people especially need to be sure to get enough vitamin D from the only three possible sources:

  • Exposure to sunlight, as the sun’s rays assist the body in producing the vitamin.
  • Foods that are rich in vitamin D such as liver, saltwater fish, and egg yolks, or foods that have been fortified with vitamin D. (There are not a great many foods that contain vitamin D.)
  • Vitamin D supplements. The recommendation of the International Osteoporosis Foundation is 800 to 1000 IU/daily for people at high risk of developing osteoporosis and for all individuals over the age of 60. Studies have shown that vitamin D supplements prevent fractures in osteoporosis patients.

Other Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

In order to maintain healthy bones, the International Osteoporosis Foundation has created a 24-page report with three specific recommendations, all of which are important:

  • Vitamin D intake.
  • A diet that includes plenty of protein and calcium.
  • Weight-bearing exercises that promote muscular strength.

Facilities that provide physicians in the field of rheumatology in New Jersey and elsewhere can treat both early and advanced cases of osteoporosis.


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