The Relation Between Immune System And Obesity
A lot of research is being done in every sphere of human health and well being. This constant process of unraveling the unknown is doing wonders for us. So many life threatening diseases and problems are seeing a ray of hope. Obesity is growing at an alarming rate all over the world and hence it is one such domain in which scientists are working hard.
Scientists knew that immune cells might be helpful in warding off obesity in mice. I am here with some great news! A study has been published in Nature according to which says that the same is true in the case of humans too.
The immune cells found by the investigators were less common in the belly fat of obese adults when compared to thinner people. In certain experiments done on mice it was found that the immune cells (ILC2) increase the development of “beige” fat cells that help in boosting the body’s calorie burning. According to a senior researcher, the ILC2 cells do not work properly in obesity.
Why and how this happens is not known but it is a key question for further research. It shows hope to develop new methods to tackle obesity. It is in the recent times that researchers have been gaining an understanding of the way the immune system affects weight control and metabolism. It may sound surprising as the immune system is for fighting infections. The researcher says that though the job of the immune system is to fight infection, it also has the ability to communicate with the fat tissue at times of adversity to alter the metabolism of the body. It is something like it telling the fat tissue, “We are not going to get food, let us adapt.”
The new finding is like an evidence that the immune system affects weight control. Generally speaking, the connection of the immune system and metabolism is not new. When people are injured or suffer from an allergic reaction and it enters what is called “hypermetabolism” or increased calorie burning.
Though the finding seems promising to help weight control there are a lot of unknowns too. The immune system and metabolism overlap and things are yet to be understood.
Immune cells ILC2 help in fighting infection and allergies. Researchers in this study took samples from obese adults and normal weight adults and found that the ILC2 cells were fewer in obese people. The same thing was previously found in lab mice.
With this the researchers proceeded with their investigation on lab mice and found promising results.
What does all this mean to humans?
Researchers say that they are at the infant stage and there is a lot of work to be done. The ultimate goal is to develop new methods of treating obesity by understanding the way the immune system communicates with the body fat.
Before coming up with something path breaking, they have to walk a lot in the direction of this evidence. There is another thing that needs to be made clear that both weight control and metabolism are complex. There is no magic bullet that works against obesity.
We can just wait and watch and hope for the best!
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