Protein found that prevents weight loss in obese
link to article above
Written by Catharine Paddock PhD
"In contrast to the more abundant white adipocytes, or white fat cells, that store energy, our bodies contain much smaller amounts of brown adipocytes, or brown fat cells, that burn fat to keep us warm - a process known as thermogenesis.
The new research reveals that a protein known as sLR11 appears to suppress thermogenesis in fat tissue.
The team found that mice unable to produce the protein were more resistant to weight gain when put on a higher-calorie diet. Compared with mice that did not lack the protein, their metabolic rates increased so they burned calories faster.
The researchers also found that in the mice lacking sLR11, genes that are normally active in brown fat tissue were more active in white fat tissue.
The higher the BMI, the harder it is to burn off fatOn further investigation, the team discovered that the protein binds to specific receptors on fat cells so as to block their ability to trigger thermogenesis and convert fat to heat.
Moreover, it appears that sLR11 increases the efficiency of storing energy in fat and stopping any excess being lost to heat generation.
In a final part of the study, the team turned to humans. There, they found higher blood levels of the protein were linked to higher total body fat.
Also, when they looked at obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery, they found the amount of weight loss following surgery was in line with falls in sLR11, suggesting the protein is released by fat cells.
The researchers suggest sLR11 plays an energy conserving role to prevent energy wastage in fat tissue, and this role is exaggerated in overweight and obese people, with the result that the higher a person's BMI, the harder their body fights to conserve energy."