Your Beer Gut is Hurting Your Bones while Running Too Hard May Kill You?
Wow, what a wacky week of medical news in exercise and health. This morning, a paper was released from the RSNA conference showing that Harvard researchers linked abdominal obesity (think beer gut) with soft bones that could lead to a hip fracture. This one actually makes sense in light of what we know about metabolic syndrome and stem cells. Basically, all of those extra carbs that end up in your belly also likely flip a switch on your stem cells which makes them preferentially turn into fatty bone marrow instead of bone. This stem cell to bone differentiation is necessary for your bones to remain strong and healthy, so diverting it causes them to grow weaker. The second study is a follow-up to the recent post on running and cartilage loss. This one focused on whether the big distance runners in a population of tens of thousands of middle aged runners saw any health benefits over three decades. For moderate distance runners who ran 15 miles a week or less, there was a 19% drop in mortality. As a example, the absolute risk reduction from taking Statin cholesterol drugs for about 5 years is 2%. However, for those who ran 20-25 miles a week, there was no health benefit, suggesting these folks are stressing their hearts and causing harm! A separate study also looked at running speed, and saw the same detrimental effect for those running faster than a 7:30 mile. Yikes! A beer gut will wreck your heart and bones and yet working too hard to run it off will kill you! The upshot? Everything in moderation!