You know how when you’re trying to lose weight it feels like your body is fighting against you? Well, according to a recent study, you’re right; your body is trying to stop you! More fat equals harder weight loss.
According to a study led by researchers from the University of Toho in Japan as well as from Cambridge University, a certain protein dubbed sLR11 is responsible for the difficulties in weight loss faced by overweight people.
The more fat cells you have, the more sLR11 protein cells they generate, and the harder it is to burn off the extra weight, explains Dr. Andrew Whittle, the study’s author.
Apparently, the sLR11 protein has the ability to inhibit the body from burning fat to produce extra heat. The process of burning fat to produce body heat is called thermogenesis, and the protein inhibits that process, thus making it harder for people with an increased number of fat cells to lose weight.
The human body contains two types of adipose, or fat cells. The brown fat cells are generally located in the neck and the shoulders, and they usually handle the thermogenesis by burning the other, white, fat cells, located in the belly and thigh areas. However, when the number of white fat cells exceeds the number of brown fat cells, the thermogenesis is impeded, leading to a much slower burn rate.
The tests were performed by the researchers on mice, as the scientists investigated the reason why the rodents that were lacking the gene responsible for the production of the sLR11 protein were more resistant to weight gain.
They also performed some tests on humans, and after intensive research managed to find a correlation between the number of sLR11 protein cells and overall weight. The more protein cells an individual had, the more overweight they were.
However, the researchers emphasize, the faster a person starts working to lose weight after initially gaining it, the easier it will be to actually lose the weight gained, as the body doesn’t have time to adjust to the recent changes and doesn’t start immediately producing the protein.
This discovery has opened up doors for researchers everywhere, as the study allows new studies and ways of fighting fat at a molecular level. The mechanism that impedes weight loss has been found, and new ways of helping people burn the extra fat will be developed.
How do you feel about this discovery? Are you excited for new weight loss treatments that will use the new findings, or will you just stick to working out?
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