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article imageThe more weight you carry, the harder it is to slim

By Tim Sandle     Dec 3, 2015 in Science
Cambridge - There could be a scientific basis to the perception that a heavier a person is then the harder it is for that person to lose weight. It all comes down to a simple protein.
Toying with the concept that people who are slightly overweight have more success that those who are overweight in losing pounds, researchers have identified a protein they think stops fat cells from burning energy. This protein could, therefore, become a key target for tackling obesity along with other metabolic conditions.
University of Cambridge scientists have pinpointed a protein found in the body, known as sLR11, that acts to suppress a process called thermogenesis. When the human body stores fat, it either stores it in fat cells for later release as energy or it contains it in brown fat cells (adipose tissue) for use as heat, to keep the body warm. This latter mechanism is thermogenesis and it is this which sLR11 can disrupt.
By suppressing the protein in mice, it was found that mice lacking sLR11 are protected from diet-induced obesity associated with an increased browning of white adipose tissue and hypermetabolism. From this it was concluded the soluble form of the low-density lipoprotein receptor relative (sLR11) suppresses thermogenesis in adipose tissue.
From the research findings in mice, the scientists proceeded to correlate sLR11 levels in people with body mass index and adiposity. This means in some people, who are overweight, the reason they struggle to lose weight could be down to they way a particular protein is expressed.
In a research note, Dr Andrew Whittle, joint first author, noted: “Our discovery may help explain why overweight individuals find it incredibly hard to lose weight. Their stored fat is actively fighting against their efforts to burn it off at the molecular level."
The research findings are published in the journal Nature Communications. The paper is titled "Soluble LR11/SorLA represses thermogenesis in adipose tissue and correlates with BMI in humans."
More about Weight loss, Obesity, Overweight, Fat, Protein
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