Study concludes obesity is an ‘inflammatory disease’

“Zucker Rat, a pet rat that has developed diabetes as a result of a genetic disorder that causes obesity.” Image credit: Joanna Servaes / CC BY-SA 3.0. Source: Sci-news.com

I’ve long suspected that obesity of today is altogether different from that of 30 years ago.  It looks very different, for one thing, less sturdy.  A new lab rat study concludes that obesity might actually be an inflammatory disease which might be curable.  Here’s more from a Sci-news report:

Scientists led by Dr David Fairlie from the University of Queensland, Australia, have found abnormal amounts of an inflammatory protein called PAR2 in the fat tissues of overweight and obese rats and humansPAR2 is also increased on the surfaces of human immune cells by common fatty acids in the diet. When obese rats on a diet high in sugar and fat were given a new oral drug that binds to PAR2, the inflammation-causing properties of this protein were blocked, as were other effects of the high-fat and high-sugar diet, including obesity itself.

“This important new finding links obesity and high fat, high sugar diets with changes in immune cells and inflammatory status, highlighting an emerging realization that obesity is an inflammatory disease,” Dr Fairlie said.

“Drugs designed to block certain inflammatory proteins, as in this report, may be able to prevent and treat obesity, which in turn is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, limb amputation, and cancers.”

To make the discovery, the team discovered the first potent, selective and orally bioavailable small molecule antagonists of PAR2 and characterized their functional responses in inflammatory cellular and animal models.

Read the full report, click here.  The comment section is loaded with judgement about obesity.  Consider the possibility that people who are obese by definition might also be malnourished.  So much of the modern diet is lacking in nutrition, yet full of empty calories, added chemicals, antibiotics, steroids, pesticides, genetically modified ingredients, etc., that obesity rising to epidemic proportions does not surprise me.  It also would seem that people who make the least money are the one’s who suffer most from obesity.  Is it possible that this has to do with the types of food that they can afford or have access to?

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