Fat may cause
July 19th 2005
Body's Fat Cells
A study by Wake Forest University
Baptist Medical Center shows a connection between extra fat around the
waist and inflammation. Obesity affects about one-third of adults in
the United States. Heart disease is one of the side effects of being
Tongjian You, Ph.D, the lead author
of this study and an instructor in geriatric medicine at Wake Forest
Baptist Medical Center said that it is not completely understood what
causes the link between heart disease and obesity. He said, “Our study
suggests that inflammatory proteins produced by fat itself may play a
The study suggests that fat is more
of an organ that is capable of producing proteins and hormones which in
turn affect the bodies metabolism.
The study included 20
post-menopausal women from ages 50 – 70 years old. They were either
overweight or obese and had a waist that measured more than 35 inches.
These women were also at a higher risk of metabolic syndrome which is a
group of symptoms that greatly increase the likelihood of heart
disease. To be diagnosed of metabolic syndrome, the patient must have
at least three of these symptoms; abdominal obesity, high triglycerides,
low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL good) cholesterol, high
blood pressure and increased blood glucose levels.
The researchers studied two proteins
that create inflammation. One protein is interleukin 6 and tumor
necrosis factor alpha. The second one called plasminogen activator
inhibitor 1, it is a protein that helps make blood clot. Both of these
proteins are made by fat tissue and cause the buildup of fatty deposits
in the blood vessel linings. The scientists also looked at the helpful
proteins called leptin which aids in energy metabolism and Adiponectin
which has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Eight of the women who were
diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome had 32 percent lower levels of the
Adiponectin protein compared to the 12 women in the study that did not
have the disorder. “This suggests that low production of adiponectin in
subcutaneous fat is linked with an elevated risk of heart disease”, said
Tongjian You, Ph.D.
Heart disease in the number one
killer in the US and kills 79,000 more people per year than the next
five most common causes combined. A follow up study is underway to add
weight loss and exercise to see if the production of the
anti-inflammatory proteins will change.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
common misspellings: heart disese obisity triglicerides obeesity