Researchers have found that obese cells in obese people have a higher expression of a molecule called lysyl oxidase (lysyl-oxidase – LOX).
LOX is associated with fibrosis, or "scars" of adipose tissue, fact that, as previous research has shown, can hinder weight loss efforts.
The co-author of the study, dr. Katarina Kos, who works in the Diabetes and Obesity Research Team at the University of Exeter University School of Medicine in the United Kingdom, and its partners, published their findings in the scientific journal Metabolism.
Obesity is a modern "epidemic"
It is considered that approximately 1 in 3 Adults in the US are obese, which puts them at increased risk for type 2 diabetes 2, stroke, heart disease and certain cancers.
Lack of exercise and poor diet are the main causes of obesity, so it is no surprise that a healthy diet and increased physical activity should be the first goals in an effort to lose weight.
But these interventions can have mixed effects: some people see the pounds drop, while others find it much more difficult. The new study may have revealed an explanation for’ this difference.
Higher LOX levels in obese people
For the needs of research, Dr.. Kos and her colleagues analyzed abdominal tissue samples taken from obese people, before undergoing weight loss surgery.
Compared to tissue samples from abdominal adipose tissue of leaner individuals, the analysis showed that the adipose tissue of obese individuals had a higher expression of the LOX molecule, which is the cause of adipose tissue fibrosis.
In further research, The researchers found that the increase in LOX expression was due to increased oxygen deprivation and inflammation in fat cells., which occurs when fat cells become larger.
Why is this happening
Scientists explain that when fat cells are subjected to this type of stress, lose their ability to store unnecessary calories. As a result, these calories are stored as fat around important organs, such as the liver and heart, and this is associated with numerous health problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes 2.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that adipose tissue fibrosis can make it difficult for people to lose weight. "But this does not mean that scar tissue makes it impossible to lose weight", emphasizes Dr.. Kos.
“Regular physical activity combined with a somewhat reduced energy intake (calories) for a longer period of time reduces stress on adipose tissue. We know that this improves blood sugar and is the key to managing diabetes. ".
"We have to take care of our fat"
In addition, The group's findings show that targeting the LOX molecule could be a way to prevent fat cell fibrosis and possibly make weight loss easier., but more studies are needed to confirm this theory.
Dr.. Kos notes that further research is needed to identify other ways to prevent adipose tissue fibrosis. At the same time, argues that increasing our physical activity could help.
"There is evidence that when adipose tissue is affected (scars are created, that is, fibrosis), then despite weight loss, may not fully recover. We need to take care of our adipose tissue, who can stop coping if he is stressed when at the same time he is forced to absorb more and more calories ”.
"As a doctor", completed Dr.. Kos, "I would advise physical exercise, or at least a ‘walk’’ after each main meal, which can make a big positive difference to our metabolic health ".