New Fat‐Fighting Pathway Discovered

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

New Fat?Fighting Pathway Discovered

There’s good news in the world of weight loss research. Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University think they’ve figured out the process that controls the amount of lipids our cells store away as an emergency food supply.

It’s called autophagy, from the Greek words meaning “self-eating”.

Autophagy is carried out by lysosomes, structures within the cell that were once thought to be good only for breaking down and recycling used cellular parts.

Researchers now realize that lysosomes also break down stored-up lipid droplets, which is fat, and use them for energy production.

If food intake goes down, autophagy increases, and the lysosomes break down the stored lipids more quickly. But, when autophagy slows down, the lipid droplets stored in the cell keep growing until they’re too big for the lysosomes to handle.

This begins a vicious cycle, because the rapidly-growing fat droplets continue to slow down autophagy; even more fat builds up within the cells; and eventually conditions like diabetes and fatty liver disease can result.

So what does all this mean for you? The researchers say that therapies aimed at boosting the efficiency of autophagy could prevent disease by keeping lipid droplets under control. We’ll keep you updated as research continues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.