Severely obese people have three times as much of a fat-building enzyme called SCD1 in their muscle cells than lean people, scientists report. SCD-1 slows down fat burning and promotes storage of fat droplets in the muscles. That could be one reason why it’s often hard to permanently lose weight through diet alone.
The study authors believe people either inherit the SCD-1 genetic predisposition to obesity or develop it at some point in their life, possibly triggered by a poor diet, according to BBC News.
Exercise is known to produce big changes in muscle metabolism, explains Muoio. She works at Duke University’s Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center.
The researchers studied muscle cells from lean and obese women. The obese patients were matched to lean patients of the same age and race, Fox News reports.
The lean women had a BMI (body mass index) of 25 or less. The obese women in the study had a BMI of 35 or more. According to CDC provides guidelines for BMI,18.5 to 24.9 is normal, 25.0 to 29.9 is overweight, and 30 or more is considered obese. A.M.