While dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, previously DEXA) is most commonly used to assess bone health, it also provides one of the most accurate means for assessing body fat. In fact one of the advantages of DXA is that it also estimates regional body fat, such as in the abdomen, arms, and legs. The name is based on the method. Two X-ray beams with differing energy levels are transmitted at the body. Since the absorption of these beams varies with different tissue, this can used to estimate body fat as well as bone mass. DXA scans are not commonly done for body composition assessment; however, if you are have a DXA scan performed for bone health status be sure to ask for your body composition as well.
DXA scans for bone health also provide accurate information about body fat percentage and distribution of body fat.
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