Obesity may cause dangerous changes in the way the body stores fat

A team of European investigators has found that fat cells and surrounding tissue may have certain limitations when it comes to storing excess fat. When these limits are exceeded, a chain of reactions begins to take place which may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK reported in the International Journal of Obesity Research that a protein called secreted frizzled-related protein (SFRP1) regulates the storage and maintenance of new fat taken into the body. However, after a certain point, this protein stops functioning as efficiently, which researchers noted triggers changes in metabolism that may result in diabetes.

Professor Douglas Kell, who participated in the study, said that he hopes the findings will lead to the development of improved treatments for type 2 diabetes.

"Research such as this leads to better understanding of the biochemistry that drives normal human physiology," he said. "Increasing our understanding of the fundamentals of metabolic signaling is an important part of working towards an increase in health span to match our increasing life spans."

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