Young overweight and obese women with lower circulating osteocalcin concentrations exhibit higher insulin resistance and concentrations of C-reactive protein

Type Article

Journal Article


A. J. Lucey; G. K. Paschos; I. Thorsdottir; J. A. Martínéz; K. D. Cashman; M. Kiely

Year of publication



Nutr Res








The role of the skeleton in the regulation of energy metabolism in humans is not clear. This study investigates the hypothesis that biomarkers of bone turnover are associated with indices of glucose homeostasis and systemic inflammation in young adults. A cross-sectional study investigating the relationships between biomarkers of bone turnover (serum total and uncarboxylated osteocalcin, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, C-telopeptide of type I collagen, urinary N-telopeptide of type I collagen) and glucose metabolism (fasting plasma glucose [FPG], insulin, insulin resistance [homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance]), systemic inflammation (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hsCRP] and interleukin-6), adipokines (leptin and adiponectin), and body composition was conducted in 268 young, nondiabetic overweight and obese adults aged 20 to 40 years (116 men, 152 women; body mass index, 27.5-32.5 kg/m(2)). Data on diet, physical activity, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and parathyroid hormone were also collected. In women, there was a stepwise increase in lean body mass (P < .05) and a decrease in serum hsCRP (P < .001) across tertiles of total osteocalcin. Multiple linear regression analysis showed significant inverse associations between total osteocalcin and FPG (β = -0.350; P = .016; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.35 to -0.04), insulin (β = -0.455; P = .002; 95% CI, -1.9 to -0.46), and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (β = -0.508; P = .001; 95% CI, -10.93 to -3.17) in women with total osteocalcin concentrations below the group median. Men in the lowest tertile of uncarboxylated osteocalcin had twice the concentration of hsCRP than did other men (P = .05). In this sample, women with less lean body mass had lower circulating total osteocalcin concentrations and exhibited higher FPG, insulin resistance, and hsCRP compared with their similarly sized counterparts, suggesting that associations between osteocalcin and systemic inflammation, glucose homeostasis, and insulin resistance may be influenced by differences in sex and body composition.