Discovery of two types of obesity

There are at least two metabolic subtypes of obesity, each with its own physiological and molecular characteristics that influence health, shows a study conducted by researchers at the American Van Andel Institute in the state of Michigan.

Obesity is usually diagnosed based on the calculation of the BMI which, if it is greater than or equal to 30, the patient is declared obese. This tool does not retranscribe the physiological differences between patients or their state of health, whereas obesity is not a question of will but a complex disease with several faces, at least two, according to the results of this study published in the specialist magazine » Nature Metabolism “.

We observed for the first time that there are at least two metabolic subtypes of obesity, each with their own physiological and molecular characteristics that influence health.“, says Andrew Pospisilik, researcher in epigenetics at the Van Andel Institute. The first subtype of obesity discovered by scientists is characterized by the significant presence of fat mass in the body. The second is characterized both by a surplus of fatty mass and dry mass – muscles –, but also by very high markers of inflammation, favoring the appearance of diseases and cancers in the patients concerned.

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Experiments carried out on mice show that this inflammation is not due to genes or the environment but to epigenetics, the DNA that surrounds the genes and regulates them by different mechanisms which, in this specific case, trigger randomly, says Professor Andrew Pospisilik. ” Our laboratory results are the carbon copy of the results obtained in humans. We further observed two distinct types of obesity, one of which appears to be epigenetically “triggerable” marked by more dry mass and fat mass, high inflammatory signals and insulin levels and a strong epigenetic signature“, he clarified.

According to scientists, genes and environment only account for 30-50% of what one is about the disease. The rest is dictated by something else, epigenetics presumably. ” Epigenetics can act as a switch that “turns on” or “off” genes, which can promote health or, when things go wrong, disease“, concludes the scientist.

Nearly one billion people are obese worldwide, according to WHO figures.

With MAP

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