Researchers, at the University of Exeter, have now discovered that the LOX molecule is the cause of this scarring and distress.
“We know that obese people can suffer scarring of their fat tissue which may make it harder to lose weight. These fat cells are less able to store excess calories, and so may cause fat to move into and wrap around organs such as the liver,” says Dr Katarina Kos, from the University of Exeter’s medical school.
“Our research was aimed at seeing what drives this, and now we know, there may be the potential for a drug to be developed to block this from happening. The next stage is to explore whether drug treatment could have an impact.”
Dr Kos believes further research is needed to determine how to avoid fat tissues becoming unhealthy and says until then the answer continues to be diet and exercise.
“The advice continues to be for people to try to control their intake of surplus calories and burn them off when possible. Something as simple as going for a walk after meals could help to burn off calories without overburdening the fat tissue and which may prevent it from scarring,” Dr Kos adds.