An Interesting Theory on Obesity

Almost nothing in biology is entirely immune to a good argument for altering what is presently thought of as cause and effect. Here, for example, a researcher argues that the metabolic syndrome we presently ascribe to excess fat, caused by eating too much, is in fact a direct consequence of that high calorie intake, not the fat. It is an intriguing view, but one that needs more evidence before being taken seriously, I think. From the release: "obesity is the body's way of storing lipids where they belong, in fat tissue, in an effort to protect our other organs from lipids' toxic effects. It's when the surplus of calories coming in gets to be too much for our fat tissue to handle that those lipids wind up in other places they shouldn't be, and the cascade of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome sets in. ... There is some disagreement in the field about whether insulin resistance is a primary cause of metabolic syndrome or just one of its features ... Insulin resistance is not the cause of metabolic syndrome, [according to this theory], it is a 'passive byproduct' of fat deposition in the liver and muscle once storage in fat cells begins to fail. ... Based on the genes they carry, some people will be better able to sustain lipid storage in fat and can get away with being overweight, even obese, without the other symptoms. Eventually, though, the need to cut calories is something all of us will face. ... Once you reach a certain age, almost everybody is leptin resistant. Nature stops protecting you once you pass the reproductive years."


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