A study conducted by the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital has found that excess fat stored in the belly around the organs may be linked to the development of osteoporosis. The study, conducted on a group of premenopausal women, found that visceral fat was linked to weaker bones and a lower bone mineral density. Fat within the bones was also examined and resulted in the same conclusion. This comes to a surprise for many, since previously it was believed that extra weight on the body in general actually helped to fend off the bone crippling disease.
Researchers aren’t totally clear on why visceral fat is a cause, however they think it may have something to do with the fat cells and their production of specific substances that could be damaging to the bones. These same substances contribute to the development of other diseases, such as diabetes. However, superficial fat (fat that lies just below the skin) particularly around the hips is beneficial in preventing diabetes and heart disease.
The researchers will continue to explore their findings, as well as examine male participants.