This week ScienceDaily wrote about a University of Edinburgh study that determined that a protein plays a key part in how the body stores fat. This protein is known as 11BetaHSD1. Researchers found that there are higher levels of this protein in the unhealthy type of body fat, which is stored around the torso and is typical of “apple-shapes.” On the other hand, lower levels of this protein are found in “pear-shapes”, which are those people with more fat stored around the hips.
Higher levels of this protein, and thus, having an “apple-shape”, is considered unhealthy because it leads to more fat stored around vital organs, and is an indication that there is an over-reaction in the immune system.
Dr. Emma Patterson, pioneer in laparoscopic bariatric surgery and CEO of Oregon Weight Loss Surgery, explains how this study opens up new avenues to understanding how to combat some of the deadly diseases associated with central obesity: “The findings of this study are very exciting. It is well established that central obesity or being ‘apple-shaped’ is far worse for one’s health than peripheral obesity or being ‘pear-shaped’. Patients with central obesity are at greater risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. A better understanding of the control of these different patterns of fat storage may lead to new treatments for obesity.”
You can read ScienceDaily’s article here.