Belly Fat and Bone Health


Author: Leo Akin
June, 2015


Putting on excess fat can affect your health in multiple ways. The most obvious effect is the unwanted weight gain. However, increased risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes are also commonly associated with fat accumulation in the body. We can now add poor bone health to this growing list of chronic diseases encouraged by unhealthy fat gain. Just as gaining excess fat is bad for your health, where you carry the excess fat also matters. Studies show that belly fat is the worst kind of body fat for bone health.

Studies on Body Fat and Bone Strength

New findings released at the 2012 annual conference of the Radiological Society of North America confirmed that the site of fat accumulation can affect bone health over a period of time. The results of the studies presented showed that men with deep-seated belly fat had higher risks of weak bones and bone fractures than those who carried their excess fat around their buttocks and thighs and just below the skin fold. Men are not the only ones affected by the effect of excess body fat on the bones. In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found the same relationship among adolescent girls. That study showed that the bones of girls with high body fat were 10% weaker than those of girls with normal body fat.

How Excess Body Fat Can Make Bones Weaker

Researchers do not fully understand why excess body fat weakens bones. Surely, the added weight of stored fat will definitely place more stress on skeletal bones but the evidence suggests that this is not the only mechanism in play. People with excess body fat are not only losing bone mineral density but they are also adding less. This may be caused by a problem with optima lmineralization of the bone with calcium and it may also involve the different minerals and vitamins necessary for optimal bone health. But there is also good evidence to suggest that fat and fat cells directly contribute to the erosion of bones. For instance, people with high body fat also have proportionally high fat in their bone marrows. This can affect bone mineralization and weaken bones over time. Furthermore, scientists believe that it is possible that fat cells are releasing certain unknown substances that contribute to poor bone health.

Getting Rid of Belly Fat and Strengthening Your Bones

It is one of the pervading health myths that excess body fat is derived from the fatty foods in our diet. This is quite erroneous because the real culprit is high consumption of carbohydrates. Specifically, belly fat, visceral fat and all other forms of excess body fats are the results of your sugar consumption. And there is no sugar more dangerous than fructose especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in processed foods and sugary drinks. The body converts excess sugar into stored fat as well as harmful metabolites such as triglycerides. In addition, the contribution of fructose worsens this accumulation of fat because it triggers metabolic syndrome. Therefore, the first step to getting rid of your belly fat is to reduce your sugar consumption. Do this by limiting the amount of carbs you consume and get rid of all sources of HFCS.


Your carb restriction should be a part of a nutritional plan that favors better dietary habits such as eating more vegetables and healthy fats and preferably intermittent fasting. Secondly, take up regular exercise to help shed excess weight, improve your cardiovascular function and strengthen your bones. Weight-bearing exercises are especially good for strengthening bones. To build stronger bones, you need to raise your vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 levels. You can optimize vitamin D levels by getting more hours of natural sunlight or by simply taking vitamin D3 supplements. For vitamin K2, eat more fermented foods such as cheese, yogurt, natto and fermented vegetables. Vitamin K2 supplements may also be used. Vitamin K2 is especially important because it ensures that calcium is taken to the bones rather than left to calcify arteries and be deposited on internal organs.

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