Muscles Benefit Bones Three Times More than Fat

Posted by Admin on February 4, 2015
Although it is widely known that overweight individuals develop stronger bones, a hot topic for osteoporosis investigators over the last 20 years has been whether muscle or fat has a greater impact on bone mineral density. Vietnamese and Australian researchers have now demonstrated that the impact of 'lean mass' is 3 times greater than the impact of 'fat mass', finally offering a conclusion to the long-standing debate.

The discussion began in 1992 when a prominent group of researchers from the University of Auckland published a paper in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, demonstrating that body mass index is the most important predictor of bone density. The research has been heavily cited, and has led to the creation of dozens of other studies trying to either validate or disprove its findings.

For the study lead author, Professor Tuan Nguyen and colleagues undertook a ‘meta-analsysi’ of 44 studies, concluding that 21% of difference in bone mineral density can be accounted for by lean mass, 8% by fat mass. Dr. Nguyen claims, "In the presence of conflicting findings, meta-analysis is a good method of finally resolving the issue, and is a particularly popular tool in clinical medicine.”

He continues by claiming that the conflicting evidence in the medical literature are the norm instead of the exception due to the fact that studies are based on different populations and utilize different methodologies. The variability in the findings between the studies can be ‘ironed out’ by the meta-analysis which weighs the relative importance of each study by its information content – quality of data and sample size.

The study authors claim that although it seems that they are splitting hairs by trying to determine which aspect of body weight plays the more influential role, the finding is very significant for the realm of public health - it could very well guide the prevention of osteoporosis. If muscle mass is critical, it only makes sense to offer recommendations for improvements in physical activity levels and muscle building exercises.


Written by Elijah Lamond

Featured Specialities:
Featured Doctors:

 Columbia Center for Shoulder, Elbow and Sports Medicine

622 West 168 Street, PH11-Center
Manhattan North, NY 10032
Call: 212-305-4565

MedWell Spine & Neuropathy Center

 MedWell, L.L.C.

33 Central Ave
Midland Park, NJ 07432
Call: 201-632-1900

Ferraro Spine & Rehabilitation

Dr. Peter Ferraro, D.C.

230 Midland Ave
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663
Call: 888-989-0245

Optimal Wellness Network

Dr. Hal Blatman

20 E.46th Street, 7th Fl.
New York, NY 10017
Call: 888-452-5572

 Associates in Family Chiropractic & Natural Health Care, P.C.

156 East Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851
Call: 888-998-5579

Empire Physical Medicine & Pain Management

Dr. Steven S. Moalemi, M.D.

7 West 45th St,. Floor 9
New York, NY 10036
Call: 888-707-9348