Skip to main content
Western Kentucky University

Media Relations

Why Some People Are Apple-Shaped and Others Are Pear-Shaped

The latest findings give greater understanding of how the protein works, which could help development of medicines to treat obesity.

Levels of the protein -- known as 11BetaHSD1 -- tend to be higher in the presence of an unhealthy type of body fat which tends to be stored around the torso -- typical of "apple-shapes."

Healthier fat, linked to lower levels of the protein, tends to be stored around the hips and is used more safely by the body as a source of energy -- typical of people who are "pear-shaped."

The study found that mice with the protein in their bodies were more likely to have unhealthy fat tissue after four weeks on a high fat diet, compared with mice without the protein.

Scientists are already looking at ways to make medicines that inhibit this protein, which is known to raise levels of hormones linked to obesity.

The research, published in the journal Diabetes was funded by the Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation.

Dr Nik Morton, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cardiovascular Science, said: "This study opens up new avenues for research, and gives us a much better idea of why some fat in the body becomes unhealthy while other fat is safely stored for energy. Inflammation in of the unhealthy fat leads to reactions that can cause harm locally to tissues and affect the whole organism, promoting diabetes. Limiting the presence of this protein could help combat this."

As well as being more likely to be stored around vital organs in the torso, fat with higher levels of 11BetaHSD1 is considered to be unhealthy as it is associated with an over-reaction in the immune system.

Cells normally become inflamed in order to kill off an infection, but as there is no infection in the fat tissue the inflammation instead causes damage to healthy cells.

Source: ScienceDaily

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
CEBS
Media Relations
Academic Affairs
Augenstein Alumni Center
Instruments of American Excellence
Transportation
Emergency Preparedness
Police
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Library News
Office of Sustainability
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Ogden News
PCAL
WKU Greeks News
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Parent's Association
Student Activities and Organizations
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Government Association News
Van Meter Auditorium
Teaching News
Study Abroad
Student Research Council
Student Employment
WKU Joint Admissions
International Student Office
Human Resources News
Cultural Enhancement Series
CHHS News
The Confucius Institute
Campus Activities Board
GFCB
WellU
The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Student Union
Health Services
Hardin Planetarium
News from The Center for Gifted Studies
Student Financial Assistance
Downing Museum
Etown & Fort Knox
Facilities
Employee Wellness
Latest Headlines
Featured Articles

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 9/24/14