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Weight and Obesity Diabetes Lifestyle Women's Health

Inefficient Fat Metabolism Possible Cause Of Obesity

1 year ago

3048  0
Posted on Jun 08, 2018, 12 a.m.

In some cases protracted weight gain may be attributed to reduced ability to metabolize fat. More intensive lifestyle changes may be required for sensitive individuals if they wish to avoid being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes according to researchers, as published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Tissue samples were analysed of subcutaneous fat taken from women’s stomachs at the beginning of the study and again at a 10 year follow up. Ability of the fat cells to free fatty acids in first samples was found to be able to be used to predict which of the participants would develop type 2 diabetes, and these participants had reduced activity in a number of specific genes that are involved with lipolysis.


The process where fat cells free fatty acids which is used as an energy source by the muscles in known as lipolysis. Basal lipolysis is continual and was differentiated between hormone stimulated lipolysis which is triggered in response to increase in energy requirement. Fat cells in participants who went on to become overweight showed high basal and low hormone stimulated lipolysis, which had 3-6 times higher risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. The correlation was first discovered in a group of 54 participants at a 13 year follow up, analysis repeated on 28 other participants at a 10 year follow up had the same results.


Based on clinical and biochemical parameters from hundreds of individuals an algorithm has been developed by the researchers to obtain an indirect estimation of the quantity of fatty acids freed by fat cells and predict weight gain.


Researchers say that their results need to be corroborated in larger studies, and conducted using male participants in hopes to develop a method of identifying individuals at risk for becoming overweight and development of type 2 diabetes, who may need more intensive lifestyle interventions than others in order to stay healthy.

Materials provided by Karolinska Institutet.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Peter Arner, Daniel P. Andersson, Jesper Bäckdahl, Ingrid Dahlman, Mikael Rydén. Weight Gain and Impaired Glucose Metabolism in Women Are Predicted by Inefficient Subcutaneous Fat Cell Lipolysis. Cell Metabolism, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.05.004


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