Why We Gain Weight with Age

As we get older, it can sometimes become more difficult to keep our weight in check. New research at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden along with collaboration with researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden and the University of Lyon in France, has discovered why this is.

During the aging process lipid turnover in our fat tissue decreases which makes it much easier for people to gain weight. This can occur even if we don’t exercise less than before or don’t eat as much.

The research team discovered the fat cells in 54 women and men turn over during an average time period of 13 years. During that time all participants, regardless of whether they lost or gained weight, showed decreases in lipid turnover in their fat tissue. This is the rate at which lipid or fat located in the fat cells is removed and stored.

Participants who didn’t compensate for this by eating less calories increased their weight by an average of 20%. These results indicate that processes in our fat tissue help regulate changes body weight during the aging process in a way that is independent of other factors.

The team also examined lipid turnover in 41 women who had bariatric surgery and how the lipid turnover rate affected the ability for them keep the weight off for 4 to 7 years following surgery.

The result indicated that only those participants who had a low rate before surgery were able to increase their lipid turnover and then maintain their weight loss. The team believe these people might have had more room for increasing their lipid turnover than the participants who already had a high level previous to the surgery.

The results could open up new treatments for obesity. Previous studies have shown that one method to speed up lipid turnover in fat tissue is to engage in more exercise. The new research does support that notion and also indicates that long term result of weight loss surgery could improve if combined with an increase in physical activity.

The majority of people who struggle with severe obesity have a prolonged struggle with their weight. Furthermore, the global problem with obesity and obesity related diseases has encouraged researchers to understand lipid dynamics and what regulates the size of fat mass.

To view the original scientific study click below

Adipose lipid turnover and long-term changes in body weight.