A recent study by the Mayo Clinic published in the Journal of Bone & Mineral Research showed that there are distinct differences in how muscle affects the two layers of bone in men and women.
Reviewing records of 272 women and 317 men aged 20 to 97 years, researchers examined the association of skeletal muscle mass with bone architecture and strength using several high-resolution imaging technologies that distinguish the outer cortical layer of bone from the inner trabecular layer.
Study results showed that, in particular places in the body, muscle mass is associated with bone strength. Muscle mass was strongly connected to cortical health at load-bearing locations such as the hip, lumbar spine and tibia in women, and associated with the microarchitecture of trabecular bone in women’s forearms. Overall, researchers found that the lower relative muscle mass, the higher the level of the circulating protein, IGFBP-2.
“We found IGFBP-2, which has already been linked to osteoporotic fractures in men, is a negative biomarker of muscle mass in both sexes,” Nathan LeBrasseur, PhD, of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation and the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on aging at the Mayo Clinic, stated in a press release. “Our study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the highly integrated nature of skeletal muscle and bone, and it also provides new insights into potential biomarkers that reflect the health of the musculoskeletal system.”
For more information:
LeBrasseur N. J Bone Miner Res. 2012;doi:10.1002/jbmr.1666.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures