Why We Gain Weight As We Age
You may have found it difficult to keep from gaining weight as you get older, even if your eating habits and exercise routines stay the same. Swedish researchers may have found out why. The problem seems to be decreases in lipid (fat) turnover in fat cells. The investigators tracked the fat cells in 54 men and women for an average of 13 years, and identified decreases in lipid turnover, regardless of whether the study participants gained or lost weight. Those who didn’t compensate for these changes by eating fewer calories gained an average of 20 percent of their weight over the study period. The investigators also examined lipid turnover in 41 women who underwent weight-loss surgery to see how their lipid turnover rate affected their ability to keep the weight off four to seven years after surgery. They found that only those who had a low baseline turnover rate prior to their surgery were able to increase their lipid turnover and maintain their weight loss. They noted that prior studies have shown that lipid turnover can be influenced through exercise and that the new research supports that finding.
Peter Arner et al, “Adipose lipid turnover and long-term changes in body weight.” Nature Medicine, 2019; 25 (9): 1385 DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0565-5
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