Image via WikipediaAustralian and US researchers seem to have pinpointed the factor of ill health associated with obesity based on study of obese mice. The factor is protein PEDF (pigment epithelium-derived factor) which is secreted by fat cells (adipocytes). Obese people have more fat cells which in turn secrete more PEDF, increasing PEDF concentration in blood and in other tissues such as the muscles and the liver. This protein signals other body tissues triggering insulin resistance in the tissues thus leading to diabetes.
Increased PEDF levels also caused increased release of fats into the bloodstream which in turn lead to cardiovascular diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks.
When researchers inject PEDF into lean mice, it was found that they developed insulin resistance plus inflammation in muscles and liver. Increased PEDF levels also raise fat levels in blood in the long term which in turn in absorbed into muscles and liver thus raising insulin resistance risks further.
A further proof that PEDF is the factor causing ill health came from treating obese mice to neutralize PEDF. When that is done, the obese mice become more sensitive to insulin (decreased insulin resistance) thus reducing diabetes risks. The blood fats level was also reduced when the obese mice were treated to neutralise PEDF.
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