Bone marrow fat tissue keeps you healthy
Bone marrow fat tissue has, till now, primarily been associated with negative health effects, most notably because of a documented relationship to reduced bone mass and increased risks of fractures and osteoporosis.
But researchers have now found that the fat tissue in bone marrow is a significant source of the hormone adiponectin, which helps maintain insulin sensitivity, break down fat, and has been linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity-associated cancers.
Bone marrow fat tissue - which increases as body weight falls - is a previously unrecognised source of adiponectin during calorie restriction, the findings showed.
"These findings are significant because we have found that bone marrow adipose tissue may have positive, protective roles, and influence adaptive functions outside of the bone tissue, at least during calorie restriction," said Ormond MacDougald, professor at University of Michigan in the US.
The new study includes people with anorexia, patients undergoing chemotherapy, rabbits and mice.
"We know that low adiponectin has been correlated with multiple health problems and our findings suggest that an important source of this protein, and potentially others that we have not identified yet, is the fat tissue inside bone marrow," said Erica Scheller, postdoctoral fellow at University of Michigan.
People with obesity have the lowest levels of adiponectin - potentially increasing their risk for developing such diseases while the leaner someone gets, the more adiponectin they have.
The study appeared online in the journal Cell Metabolism.
(Posted on 04-07-2014)