New Study Reported Ineffective Fat Metabolism to Result in Weight Gain

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Research team suggest that certain people may need to adopt intensive lifestyle changes to minimize risk of developing obesity or type 2 diabetes

Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet revealed that expanded weight gain can be attributed to a reduced ability to metabolize fat. Currently team is working on developing new method to measure body’s ability to break down fat. The study was published in journal Cell Metabolism in May 2018. As a part of the study, researchers analyzed subcutaneous fat samples from the abdomens of women before and after a follow-up period of approximately a decade. It was observed that the ability of the fat cells to release fatty acids in the first tissue sample could be used to predict risk of developing type 2 diabetes at the end of the study.

Release of fatty acids is referred as lipolysis, which acts as energy source in muscles. As a part of study, team differentiate between two types of lipolysis – basal lipolysis and hormone-stimulated lipolysis occuring in response to an increased need for energy. It was found that fat cells, which were involved in developing obesity showed a high basal, but low hormone-stimulated lipolysis that increased the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes by 3 to 6 times.

“It’s a bit like a car that’s at high revs but that’s lost its ability to get into gear when it needs to. The end result is that the fat cells eventually take up more fat than they can get rid of,” said Mikael Rydén, Professor involved in the study. “We hope to develop a clinically expedient way of identifying individuals at risk of developing overweight and type 2 diabetes, who might need more intensive lifestyle intervention than others to stay healthy.” Furthermore, team is working on corroborating results in larger studies and for men.

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