Many people struggle to keep their weight in check as they get older.
In a new study, researchers have found why people gain weight as they get older.
They found lipid turnover in the fat tissue decreases during aging and makes it easier to gain weight, even if people don’t eat more or exercise less than before.
The research was conducted by a team from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and other institutes.
The team studied the fat cells in 54 men and women over an average period of 13 years.
In that time, all the people, regardless of whether they gained or lost weight, showed decreases in lipid turnover in the fat tissue, defined as the rate at which lipid (or fat) in the fat cells is removed and stored.
Those who didn’t compensate for that by eating fewer calories gained weight by an average of 20%.
The researchers also examined lipid turnover in 41 women who underwent weight-loss surgery, and how the lipid turnover rate affected their ability to keep the weight off four to seven years after surgery.
The result showed that only those who had a low rate before the surgery managed to increase their lipid turnover and maintain their weight loss.
The researchers believe these people may have had more room to increase their lipid turnover than those who already had a high-level pre-surgery.
The findings for the first time show that processes in the fat tissue regulate changes in body weight during aging in a way that is independent of other factors.
This could open up new ways to treat obesity. One way to speed up the lipid turnover in the fat tissue is to exercise more.
In addition, long-term results of weight-loss surgery would improve if combined with increased physical activity.
One author of the study is Peter Arner, professor at the Department of Medicine in Huddinge.
The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.
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