Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Is Faulty Liver at Fault in Fighting Fat?

tidbits that tantalizeSome Have Better Burners

"It's not my fault!"

Sure, we've heard it all before. The excuses for being overweight range from, "I really don't eat that much," to the plaintive, "I think I just have a slow metabolism." But, no one really buys into any of that, do they?


Though the claim of minimalist dietary habits may be suspect, don't be so fast to scoff at the idea of an inherently slow metabolism as an underlying cause. Researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia say that certain people are simply predisposed to obesity. And, yes, it has to do with their metabolism - or, at least, their liver's metabolism.

They used laboratory rats that were genetically modified, with one group being predisposed to obesity. Both groups were initially fed a low-fat diet and, during this portion of the study, showed no difference in weight gain. But, after both groups were switched to a high-fat diet, the obesity prone rats gained 36 percent more weight than the other group.

The scientists believe the difference stems from the inability of the obesity prone rats to burn the fat in their livers and convert it into energy. They postulate the same process is at work in humans. So, in the simple pursuit of the energy they need to get through the day, obesity prone people must eat significantly more food to compensate for their faulty liver.

Hmm... Chalk one up for the "excuses that are real" side of the argument.

The researchers are hopeful further studies may shed light on possible preventions and treatments for obesity.

In the meantime, while uncertainty permeates the debate, it may be a good time to try out a new excuse or two...

Or, better yet - read more about the study at Reuters, and find reasonably well-proven approaches to weight control and healthy living at WebMD.


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