Stored Fat Preventing Weight Loss

A new study published in the journal Natural Communication is proposing that the more fat we have, the harder it is to lose weight. As we gain fat mass the body produces a protein that actually inhibits the body’s ability to burn fat. This protein is called sLR11.

This protein was shown in animal studies to bind to receptors on fat cells to inhibit their ability to stimulate thermogenesis and improve the efficiency of energy storage in fat. These processes then prevent excess energy loss, thus making it more difficult to lose fat weight.

In human studies this protein sLR11 was directly correlated to the total fat mass. Another finding to support this theory is taken from a study looking at bariatric patients. Following bariatric surgery the ability to effectively loose weight was correlated to lower levels of sLR11. This finding is important as it sheds light as to why some individuals experience more difficulty with weight loss.

There is growing interest in thermogenesis pathways when attempting to treat obesity and other metabolic syndrome conditions. Further research will hope to test confirm these early findings, and also translate these findings to other conditions such as anorexia nervosa, where energy efficiency is important to achieve.

Andrew J. Whittle, Meizi Jiang, Vivian Peirce, Joana Relat, Sam Virtue, Hiroyuki Ebinuma, Isamu Fukamachi, Takashi Yamaguchi, Mao Takahashi, Takeyoshi Murano, Ichiro Tatsuno, Masahiro Takeuchi, Chiaki Nakaseko, Wenlong Jin, Zhehu Jin, Mark Campbell, Wolfgang J. Schneider, Antonio Vidal-Puig, Hideaki Bujo. Soluble LR11/SorLA represses thermogenesis in adipose tissue and correlates with BMI in humans. Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 8951 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9951

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