Researchers may have discovered the reason why people who are obese find it more difficult to lose weight.
Shifting excess pounds isn’t always easy but it turns out that there could be a scientific reason you’re struggling to reach your target.
According to scientists, the problem lies with scarred and inflamed fat cells.
Researchers at Exeter University analysed fat cells in obese participant’s bodies and found they were starved of oxygen, which triggered inflammation in the fat tissue.
As a result, this fat tissue is less able to absorb extra calories from food, causing it to wrap around vital organs including the liver, muscle and heart.
This can then lead to obesity-related health complications such as fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease, the Mail Online reports.
Luckily though, the team believe they have made a breakthrough which could put a stop to the process and help obese people with their weight loss journey.
Published in the journal Metabolism, the academics say they discovered a molecule called Lysyl oxidase (LOX), which was more prevalent in people who were obese with scarred fat.
As a result, they believe that developing a drug to prevent this molecule from developing could be the answer.
“We know that obese people can suffer scarring of their fat tissue which may make it harder to lose weight,” said Dr Katarina Kos, from the University of Exter’s medical school.
“These fat cells are less able to store excess calories, and so may cause fat to move into and wrap around organs such as the liver.
“Our research was aimed at seeing what drives this, and now we know, there may be the potential for a drug to be developed to block this from happening.
“The next stage is to explore whether drug treatment could have an impact.”
However, until said drug is developed Kos insists that overweight or obese people should continue to try and control their intake of surplus calories and burn them off when possible.
“Something as simple as going for a walk after meals could help to burn off calories without overburdening the fat tissue and which may prevent it from scarring,” she adds