A study has shown that changes in how fat works is one of the problems associated with obesity, rather than just excess fat.
Fat plays an important role in bodily processes including immune response, regulating insulin sensitivity and maintaining body temperature.
The plasticity of fat, or how it responds to change, decreases with age and obesity, causing changes in cells, which can lead to insulin resistance, inflammation and cell death.
The findings led the team behind the study to say that it’s not just excess fat that can have negative health effects – changes in fat function also play a role. .
The authors, led by Claudio Villanueva from the College of Life Sciences/David Geffen School of Medicine and Patrick Seale from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “The central role of adipose tissue dysfunction in disease and The incredible plasticity of adipose tissue supports the promise of modulating adipose tissue phenotypes for therapeutic purposes.
“Many questions and opportunities for future discoveries remain, which will provide new insights into adipose tissue biology and hopefully lead to better therapies for human diseases.”
The study was published in Cell.