Tuesday June 18, 2019

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

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)

Next Story

Researchers Identify Gene Linked to Obesity in Children

Approximately 70 per cent of the human population carries at least one variant of this polymorphism, which is associated with an increased risk of obesity

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Researchers have identified a common gene variant that increases the risk of obesity in children.
In a study published in Obesity journal, the researchers from University of Columbia found that a specific variant (single nucleotide polymorphism) of a gene called “FTO” affects eating behaviour that may be predictive of subsequent weight gain in children, who are at obesity risk.
“Early identification of the physiology and behaviours that constitute early risk factors for subsequent weight gain will help inform best practices for intervention and prevention of obesity in children,” said study author Michael Rosenbaum, a professor at Columbia University.
“This study shows that even before the development of an obese phenotype, children at risk, in this case by virtue of a common genetic variant, exhibit increased food intake,” added Rosenbaum.
For the study, the researchers included 122 children in the 5-10 year age group.
Obesity can now be cured by our body's natural weighing scales.
Obesity can now be cured by our body’s natural weighing scales.
The study discovered that children who are at risk of obesity due to this genetic variant had an increased calorie intake which may contribute to gaining excess weight.
“Even though 65 calories is not a lot per se, if this pattern generalized to multiple meals per week or day, this increased caloric intake can add up over time and may contribute to gaining excess weight,” said Rosenbaum.
According to the researchers, the report could be used to further study children at obesity risk for other reasons.
“The ultimate goal is to prevent the at-risk child or the child who has obesity from becoming an adult with obesity,” added Rosenbaum.
Approximately 70 per cent of the human population carries at least one variant of this polymorphism, which is associated with an increased risk of obesity. (IANS)