New Delhi: A study says that human skeleton is much more than just the structure supporting the muscles and other tissues, it has an affect on the appetite also.
Researchers in Canada studied a hormone produced by human bones, called osteocalcin, which affects how we metabolize sugar and fat.
They unveiled a new piece of the puzzle that explains how osteocalcin works which might open the door to new ways of preventing type 2 diabetes and obesity eventually.
'Just think about how women are more prone to suffer from osteoporosis when they reach menopause because their oestrogen levels drop,' said Mathieu Ferron, director of the IRCM's Integrative and Molecular Physiology Research Unit.
However, the idea that bone itself can affect other tissues took root only a few years ago with the discovery of osteocalcin.
Thanks to this hormone, produced by bone cells, sugar is metabolised more easily.
"One of osteocalcin's functions is to increase insulin production, which in turn reduces blood glucose levels," Ferron said.
"It can also protect us from obesity by increasing energy expenditure," he said.
Studies have shown that, for some people, changes in blood concentrations of osteocalcin may even stave off the development of diabetes.
Osteocalcin is produced by osteoblasts, the same cells responsible for making our bones.
The hormone builds up in bone, and then, through a series of chemical reactions, is released into the blood, researchers said.
(With IANS inputs)