Why women store fat in different places than men

Genes affect where fat is stored.


An ongoing report from Uppsala University has discovered that genetic elements impact whether individuals store fat around the trunk or in different parts of your body. This impact is overwhelming in ladies and much lower in men.

Lead author Mathias Rask-Andersen, Ph.D. and postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University said, “We know that women and men tend to store fat differently—women have the ability to more easily store fat on the hips and legs, while men tend to accumulate fat around the abdomen to a higher extent.”

“This has been attributed to the effects of sex hormones such as estrogen. But the molecular mechanisms that control this phenomenon are fairly unknown.”

Scientists used data from U.K. Biobank, a cohort study of a half-million participants in the U.K. The members gave blood tests for genotyping. The conveyance of fat tissue was evaluated utilizing impedance estimations, i.e., estimating opposition when an electrical flow is sustained through the body.

In the flow consider, a huge number of genetic variations over the genome were tried for connection with the dissemination of fat to the arms, legs, or trunk, and the examination group recognized almost a hundred genes that influence the dispersion of fat tissue to the diverse compartments of the human body. The analysts additionally observed a high level of heterogeneity between genders.

The group leader docent Åsa Johansson said, “We were struck by a large number of stronger genetic effects, or only present, in females. Upon closer examination, several of the associated genes were found to encode proteins that actively shape the extracellular matrix, which makes up the supporting structure around cells.”

“The findings suggest that remodeling of the extracellular matrix is one of the mechanisms that generate differences in body fat distribution.”

Fat stored in the trunk has recently been related to expanded disease chance. Men have a more prominent measure of stomach fat than ladies, which may clarify the expanded predominance of cardiovascular infection observed in males.

Epidemiological examinations have even demonstrated that the capacity to store fat around hips and legs gives ladies some insurance against cardiovascular sickness. The aftereffect of the flow study may, along these lines, lead to the advancement of new medications to decrease the danger of cardiovascular ailment.

Mathias Rask-Andersen said, “The biological systems we highlight in our study have the potential to be used as points-of-intervention for new drugs that are aimed at improving the distribution of body fat and thereby reducing the risk of disease.”

Journal Reference
  1. Rask-Andersen, M., Karlsson, T., Ek, W.E. et al. Genome-wide association study of body fat distribution identifies adiposity loci and sex-specific genetic effects. Nat Commun 10, 339 (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08000-4
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