Latest News & Research: 5 June 2018

This week: Weight loss comes with bone loss • Play ball, stay tall! Physical activity prevents height loss • Don’t skip leg day – your brain needs it • Busting myths about diabetes

Weight loss comes with bone loss as well

Researchers have found evidence that weight loss can result in worsening bone density, bone architecture and bone strength. The results were published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. The proposed action? Resistance training and a balanced diet.

Douglas P. Kiel, MD, MPH, principal investigator for the study said, ‘The study is significant because it used data on weight changes over 40 years in participants in the Framingham Study. We showed that men and women with both shorter term weight loss over 4-6 years and longer term weight loss over 40 years had more micro-architectural deterioration of their bones than persons who did not lose weight.’

The research was conducted by a team from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research, Boston University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and University of Calgary.

The magnitude of changes to the skeleton were clinically significant and translated into an almost three-fold increase in the risk of fracture for those who lost 5% or more weight over 40 years.

Elizabeth (Lisa) Samelson, PhD, senior author of the paper cautioned that ‘Older adults who are losing weight should be aware of the potential negative effects on the skeleton and may want to consider counteracting these effects through interventions such as weight-bearing exercise and eating a balanced diet. Given that weight loss is highly common in older adults, further work is needed to evaluate if these bone deficits can be prevented through interventions or therapy.’

Source: Institute for Aging Research


Don’t skip leg day – your brain needs it

New research has shown that neurological health depends as much on signals sent by the body's large, leg muscles to the brain as it does on directives from the brain to the muscles.

The mice study, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, fundamentally alters brain and nervous system medicine, giving doctors new clues as to why patients with motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neurological diseases often rapidly decline when their movement becomes limited.

‘Our study supports the notion that people who are unable to do load-bearing exercises – such as patients who are bed-ridden, or even astronauts on extended travel – not only lose muscle mass, but their body chemistry is altered at the cellular level and even their nervous system is adversely impacted’ said Dr Raffaella Adami from the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.

‘It is no accident that we are meant to be active: to walk, run, crouch to sit, and use our leg muscles to lift things’ said Adami; ‘Neurological health is not a one-way street with the brain telling the muscles 'lift,' 'walk,' and so on.’

Source: Science Daily


Busting myths about diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most misunderstood health conditions – even by those of us that encounter it regularly in our role as fitness professionals. To clear the confusion about what is and isn’t true, Diabetes Victoria has launched the Bust a Myth campaign debunking the top five myths around living with diabetes.

‘Diabetes-related stigma is a very real issue for most Victorians living with diabetes. Being questioned whether or not they can eat certain foods or being blamed for developing diabetes only adds to the pressure of managing and living with this complex health condition’ said Diabetes Victoria CEO Craig Bennett.

The 5 myths busted are to do with sugar consumption, physical activity, longevity, weight and the ability to work. Click HERE to find out the facts behind some common diabetes myths.

‘There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational’ said Bennett; ‘Each type of diabetes has different underlying causes and may be best managed with different strategies. However, once you develop diabetes, you will have to manage the condition every day for the rest of your life. There is a great need to raise awareness about this, in particular.’

Source: Diabetes Victoria


Play ball, stay tall! Physical activity can prevent height loss

A new study published in the journal Menopause has identified several key factors in postmenopausal women that are associated with height loss, a common occurrence in this age group that is known to increase the risk for death and disease.

One factor goes back to what study participants may, or may not, have done in their youth.
‘Having done strenuous exercise regularly, at least three times a week, in their teens was protective for later life height loss in our study’ said SUNY Distinguished Professor Jean Wactawski-Wende, the study’s senior author and dean of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Three other factors were associated with height loss of 2.5cm or more: older age, heavier weight and use of corticosteroids (known to reduce bone density).

The finding about exercise in adolescence yields an important message, the researchers said: ‘Although this study was done on postmenopausal women, there is a key message for younger women: strenuous exercise in teenage years has lasting effects on your bones later in life’ says Wactawski-Wende, PhD.

Source: University at Buffalo