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May 5, 2008

Your Fat Cell Numbers Remain Constant Throughout Your Life

Topics: Health Issues
Statistics show that an incredible 65.2 percent of the U.S. population is considered to be "overweight" or "obese." Fat cells have an important physiological role in maintaining triglyceride and free fatty acid levels - as well as determining insulin resistance, and lie behind how you gain and lose weight.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, in a study published in Nature, report they have demonstrated that we continually create new fat cells to replace those that are breaking down. According to the scientists, obese people produce approximately twice as many new fat cells annually as lean people. They also found that fat cell death happens at twice the rate among obese people, compared to lean people, and even if the obese people they studied lost a significant amount of weight, their total number of fat cells in the body remained constant, even though the size of individual fat cells fell substantially.
[...] It has been generally believed that adult humans cannot create new fat cells. We have thought, until now, that fat cells only and simply increase their fat mass by adding more lipids into fat cells that already exist in order to settle their body weight - this is true, but that is not the end of the story. Research lead by Kirsty Spalding, Jonas Frisén and Peter Arner has recently shown that adult humans constantly produce new fat cells regardless of their body weight status, sex or age.

Peter Arner, Professor, Department of Medicine, Huddinge, said "The total number of fat cells in the body is stable overtime, because the making of new fat cells is counterbalanced by an equally rapid break down of the already existing fat cells due to cell death."

[...] The scientists say the findings of this study could provide a new target for the treatment of obesity. If we can attack the signals and genes in fat cells and control the formation of new such cells we may be able to treat obesity more effective.

Peter Arner said "The results may, at least in part, explain why it is so difficult to maintain the weight after slimming. The new fat cells generated during and after weight reduction need to fill up their lipids rapidly."

Continue reading ...

Related reading: How Fat Cells Work

Posted by Richard at May 5, 2008 8:32 PM



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