Inflammation linked to belly fat in elderly: Study

Excess belly fat in older adults could be linked to inflammation, a finding that can help develop drugs that could enable elderly people to burn fat and decrease their odds of developing chronic diseases.

By: IANS | New York | Published: September 29, 2017 10:38 am
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Older adults, regardless of body weight, have increased belly fat. However, when they need to expend energy, older people do not burn the energy stored in fat cells as efficiently as younger adults, leading to the accumulation of harmful belly fat, said lead author Vishwa Deep Dixit, Professor at Yale University in Connecticut, US.

The underlying cause for this unresponsiveness in fat cells was unknown yet. In the study, published in the journal Nature, the researchers discovered a new type of specialised immune cells known as macrophages, that resides on the nerves in belly fat.

These nerve-associated macrophages, which are typically involved in controlling infections, become inflamed with age and do not allow the neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers, to properly function. The researchers also isolated the immune cells from fat tissue of young and old mice and then sequenced the genome to understand the problem.

“We discovered that the aged macrophages can break down the neurotransmitters called catecholamines, and thus do not allow fat cells to supply the fuel when the demand arises,” Dixit said. Further, when a specific receptor that controls inflammation the NLRP3 inflammasome was lowered in aged macrophages, the catecholamines could act to induce fat breakdown, similar to that of young mice.

“The key finding is that the immune cells talk to the nervous system to control metabolism,” Dixit noted. In further experiments, the researchers blocked an enzyme that is increased in aged macrophages, restoring normal fat metabolism in older mice.

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  1. L
    Lora Riney
    Sep 29, 2017 at 7:57 pm
    . I tried many products, and exercise but no effect, maybe I was so tried with the method and scared of the products at the time, well who know? The funny part is that i found a lame ad about 2 minutes ritual to get lean belly. I doubted it if could be true. But I thought why not tried that and see the effect when it took only two minutes per day and it was not a drug or something. Wow, this ritual in this lame and long ad worked for me. So I could say Don't judge the book by its cover. By the way, if you want this ritual, I am happy to share with you : : /2y4usSY Hope it works with girls who may have the same problems I used to have. Cheer! PS. the ad stated that it is not only designed for ladies.
    1. Urmila Duhan
      Sep 29, 2017 at 11:01 am
      The research results do not say why the inflammation affects belly fat region more than any other region of the body.