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Fat may cause Inflammation

July 19th 2005

Fat cells may cause Inflammation

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 overweight.

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 role.”

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.

By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer



Keywords and common misspellings: heart disese obisity triglicerides obeesity colesterol


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM