Obesity isn't the problem of excess fat but loss of function, researchers argue

The study has been published in the 'Cell Journal'. Picture: Asian News

The study has been published in the 'Cell Journal'. Picture: Asian News

Published Feb 4, 2022


Washington - A team of researchers have argued that the negative health effects of obesity stem not simply from an excess of fat but from the decline in its ability to respond to changes, or in other words, its plasticity.

The study has been published in the 'Cell Journal'.

The make-up and functioning of this tissue change in response to weight fluctuations and ageing. As fat declines in plasticity due to ageing and obesity, it loses its ability to respond to bodily cues.

In the current model of this phenomenon, the rapid growth of adipose tissue outpaces its blood supply, depriving the fat cells of oxygen and causing the accumulation of cells that no longer divide.

This leads to insulin resistance, inflammation, and cell death accompanied by the uncontrolled spill of lipids from these cells.

"The central role of adipose tissue dysfunction in disease and the incredible plasticity of fat tissue supports the promise of modulating fat tissue phenotypes for therapeutic purposes," wrote the authors, led by Claudio J. Villanueva from the College of Life Sciences/David Geffen School of Medicine and Patrick Seale from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Many questions and opportunities for future discovery remain, which will yield new insights into adipose tissue biology and hopefully lead to improved therapies for human disease," they added.

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