Recent studies have suggested that body composition is key to health and disease. First, fat tissue is a complex, essential, and highly active metabolic and endocrine organ that responds to afferent signals from traditional hormone systems and the central nervous system but also expresses and secretes factors with important endocrine, metabolic, and immune functions. Second, skeletal muscle mass is an important predictor of health in adult life, while severe mass loss has been associated with the frailty of old age. Studies have shown that skeletal muscle is also an important endocrine organ that secretes factors with autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine actions, which have been associated with inflammatory processes. Third, the bone is also a systemic endocrine regulator playing a pivotal role in health and disease. Finally, proper hydration in humans has been neglected as a health factor, especially in adults. Chronic stress and stress hormone hypersecretion alone or associated with distinct disorders, such as anxiety, depression, obesity, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disorders, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), have been associated with psychological and somatic manifestations, typically, increased fat mass, osteosarcopenia/frailty, cellular dehydration, and chronic systemic inflammation. This review aims to provide new insights into the newly developed concept of stress-related osteosarcopenic obesity and its prevention.
Keywords: Body composition; Bone; Fat; Muscle; Stress hormones; Stress physiology.