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  Fat cell dysfunction causes obesity
  09-29-2011
 

A new study has shown the association between lipid cell dysfunction and diseases such as obesity, diabetes and blood lipid disorders, a finding which may help combat metabolic diseases in future.

Scientists at Karolinska Institute measured the radioactive isotope carbon-14 and showed that fat cells in overweight people have a higher capacity for storing fats but a lower capacity for ridding themselves of them.

"One might intuitively think that this was the case," said Peter Arner, who led the study together with Kirsty Spalding.

"But this is the first time that someone has demonstrated that the metabolism of fat in the fat cells differs between healthy and obese individuals. This paves the way for new research fields and therapies that affect the storage and release of fat from fat cells," he added.

The researchers experimented on tissue samples from almost 100 people, ranging in weight from slim to massively obese.

The findings showed that while the fat stored in the fat cells of healthy people is renewed on average six times during the ten years of a fat-cell's lifespan, people with a preliminary stage of type II diabetes (insulin resistance) showed a reduced ability to rid their fat cells of fat.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

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