Lipid Turnover in Fat Tissue Decreases with Age

Researchers here show that lipid turnover in fat tissue decreases with age, and suggest that this mechanism explains some fraction of the tendency to gain weight with age. Everyone of a certain age recognizes that it takes ever more effort to evade or get rid of excess fat tissue. It remains an open question as to which underlying mechanisms cause this change in lipid turnover, though given progress in rejuvenation research we are at the point of being able to test hypotheses such as chronic inflammation resulting from senescent cells, or mitochondrial dysfunction. We shall see what new data on this topic emerges in the years ahead.

Scientists studied the fat cells in 54 men and women over an average period of 13 years. In that time, all subjects, regardless of whether they gained or lost weight, showed decreases in lipid turnover in the fat tissue, that is the rate at which lipid (or fat) in the fat cells is removed and stored. Those who didn't compensate for that by eating less calories gained weight by an average of 20 percent, according to the study.

The researchers also examined lipid turnover in 41 women who underwent bariatric surgery and how the lipid turnover rate affected their ability to keep the weight off four to seven years after surgery. The result showed that only those who had a low rate before the surgery managed to increase their lipid turnover and maintain their weight loss. The researchers believe these people may have had more room to increase their lipid turnover than those who already had a high-level pre-surgery.

"The results indicate for the first time that processes in our fat tissue regulate changes in body weight during ageing in a way that is independent of other factors. This could open up new ways to treat obesity." Prior studies have shown that one way to speed up the lipid turnover in the fat tissue is to exercise more. This new research supports that notion and further indicates that the long-term result of weight-loss surgery would improve if combined with increased physical activity.

Link: https://news.cision.com/karolinska-institutet/r/new-study-shows-why-people-gain-weight-as-they-get-older,c2899205

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