Health Watch - Fat: Healthy Obesity?
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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the health impact of fat. One reason that being overweight is a health risk is the inflammation that occurs when fat cells get too large. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that one particular protein may lead to this inflammation.
Fat cells are supported by a kind of matrix made of connective tissue. If there’s too much connective tissue, or if the tissue gets too rigid, fat cells can’t expand, and inflammation results. The researchers found that mice that don’t produce a protein that makes up this matrix may be obese without the negative health effects. Dr. Philipp Scherer, a
UT Southwestern diabetes researcher, says this protein can’t be eliminated from humans, but learning how the protein works and how the process can be manipulated may lead to ways to prevent inflammation in fat cells and the problems that can lead to, such as insulin resistance and diabetes.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/endocrinology to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s clinical services in endocrinology.
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