Saturday November 17, 2018

Obese? Blame it on Fat Cells’ Expansion

According to researchers, the mechanics of 'cellular expansion' plays a pivotal role in fat production

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Obese? Blame it on Fat Cells' Expansion
Obese? Blame it on Fat Cells' Expansion. VOA
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You have heard about obesity or accumulation of fat but do you know that nutrition is not the only factor driving obesity in our kids?

According to researchers, the mechanics of ‘cellular expansion’ plays a pivotal role in fat production.

To understand how obesity develops, a team from Tel Aviv University in Israel used state-of-the-art technology to analyse the accumulation of fat in the body at the cellular level.

“We wanted to find out why a sedentary lifestyle results in obesity, other than making time to eat more hamburgers,” said professor Amit Gefen from Tel Aviv University’s department of biomedical engineering.

“We found that fat cells exposed to sustained, chronic pressure – such as what happens to the buttocks when you are sitting down – experienced accelerated growth of lipid droplets, which are molecules that carry fats,” Gefen added.

Contrary to muscle and bone tissue, which get mechanically weaker with disuse, fat depots in fat cells expanded when they experienced sustained loading by as much as 50 percent. This was a substantial discovery.

The researchers discovered that, once it accumulated lipid droplets, the structure of a cell and its mechanics changed dramatically.

obesity
Representational image. Pixabay

Using a cutting-edge atomic force microscope and other microscopy technologies, they were able to observe the material composition of the transforming fat cell, which became stiffer as it expanded.

This stiffness alters the environment of surrounding cells by physically deforming them, pushing them to change their own shape and composition.

“When they gain mass and change their composition, expanding cells deform neighbouring cells, forcing them to differentiate and expand,” he explained.

Also Read: Kids Who Sleep Less Eat More

This proves that you are not just what you eat. You are also what you feel – and what you are feeling is the pressure of increased weight and the sustained loading in the tissues of the buttocks of the couch potato.

If you can learn to control the mechanical environment of cells, you can then determine how to modulate the fat cells to produce less fat, Natan Shaked from Tel Aviv University noted.

The team is now creating a platform to develop new therapies and technologies to prevent or even reverse fat gain, said the research published in the Biophysical Journal. (Bollywood Country)

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Genes Tied to Obesity May Lower Risk of Diabetes

"Meanwhile, some lean or normal weight individuals develop diseases like Type-2 diabetes," Yaghootkar noted

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Diabetes
Poor aerobic fitness can up diabetes, heart disease risk in kids. Pixabay

Certain genetic factors may impact our body in intriguingly paradoxical ways. A team of scientists has identified 14 new genetic variations that were linked with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) but have the potential to lower risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and lower heart disease risk.

According to researchers, it is because the location — around middle or round the liver — where surplus fat is stored could be genetically determined.

This location is more important than the amount when it comes to insulin resistance and risk of diabetes and other conditions.

“There are some genetic factors that increase obesity, but paradoxically reduce metabolic risk. It is to do with where on the body the fat is stored,” said Brunel Alex Blakemore, Professor at the Brunel University London.

The findings revealed that as they gain weight, people who carry these genetic factors store it safely under the skin, and so have less fat in their major organs such as the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“Directly under the skin is better than around the organs or especially, within the liver,” Blakemore added.

For the study, published in the journal Diabetes, the team examined more than 500,000 people aged between 37 and 73.

They used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of these people’s waists to match where they stored extra fat with whether they showed signs of Type-2 diabetes, heart attack and risk of stroke.

Also Read- Private Messages of 120 mn Facebook Users Hacked: Report

“There are many overweight or obese individuals who do not carry the expected metabolic disease risks associated with higher BMI,” explained Hanieh Yaghootkar from the University of Exeter in Britain.

“Meanwhile, some lean or normal weight individuals develop diseases like Type-2 diabetes,” Yaghootkar noted. (IANS)