Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Adipose tissue


Carbohydrate staples such as pasta have been implicated in the obesity epidemic. It is unclear whether pasta contributes to weight gain or like other low-glycaemic index (GI) foods contributes to weight loss. We synthesised the evidence of the effect of pasta on measures of adiposity.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Adipose tissue, Weight loss, Meta-analysis


Chronic cortisol exposure is hypothesized to contribute to obesity. This study examined associations between hair cortisol concentrations, a novel indicator of long-term cortisol exposure, and adiposity in a large population-based sample.

Concepts: Obesity, Adipose tissue


Weight discrimination is prevalent in American society. Although associated consistently with psychological and economic outcomes, less is known about whether weight discrimination is associated with longitudinal changes in obesity. The objectives of this research are (1) to test whether weight discrimination is associated with risk of becoming obese (Body Mass Index≥30; BMI) by follow-up among those not obese at baseline, and (2) to test whether weight discrimination is associated with risk of remaining obese at follow-up among those already obese at baseline. Participants were drawn from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal survey of community-dwelling US residents. A total of 6,157 participants (58.6% female) completed the discrimination measure and had weight and height available from the 2006 and 2010 assessments. Participants who experienced weight discrimination were approximately 2.5 times more likely to become obese by follow-up (OR = 2.54, 95% CI = 1.58-4.08) and participants who were obese at baseline were three times more likely to remain obese at follow up (OR = 3.20, 95% CI = 2.06-4.97) than those who had not experienced such discrimination. These effects held when controlling for demographic factors (age, sex, ethnicity, education) and when baseline BMI was included as a covariate. These effects were also specific to weight discrimination; other forms of discrimination (e.g., sex, race) were unrelated to risk of obesity at follow-up. The present research demonstrates that, in addition to poorer mental health outcomes, weight discrimination has implications for obesity. Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity.

Concepts: Psychology, Cancer, Nutrition, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Body mass index, Weight loss, Bariatric surgery


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has attracted considerable research interest because of its therapeutic potential to treat obesity and associated metabolic diseases. Augmentation of brown fat mass and/or its function may represent an attractive strategy to enhance energy expenditure. Using high-throughput phenotypic screening to induce brown adipocyte reprogramming in committed myoblasts, we identified a retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonist, bexarotene (Bex), that efficiently converted myoblasts into brown adipocyte-like cells. Bex-treated mice exhibited enlarged BAT mass, enhanced BAT function, and a modest browning effect in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (WAT). Expression analysis showed that Bex initiated several “browning” pathways at an early stage during brown adipocyte reprogramming. Our findings suggest RXRs as new master regulators that control brown and beige fat development and activation, unlike the common adipogenic regulator PPARγ. Moreover, we demonstrated that selective RXR activation may potentially offer a therapeutic approach to manipulate brown/beige fat function in vivo.

Concepts: Protein, Metabolism, Fat, Adipose tissue, Tissues, Adipocyte, Brown adipose tissue, White adipose tissue



There are substantial differences in the distribution of adipose tissue between women and men. We assessed the sex-specific relationships and their differences between measures of general and central adiposity and the risk of incident myocardial infarction (MI).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Obesity, Muscle, Gender, Adipose tissue


Calorie restriction-induced weight loss is accompanied by profound changes in adipose tissue characteristics. To determine the effect of weight loss on differentiation of preadipocytes and secretory capacity of in vitro differentiated adipocytes, we established cultures of these cells from paired subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies obtained before and at the end of weight-reducing dietary intervention in 23 obese women. Based on lipid accumulation and the expression of differentiation markers, in vitro adipogenesis increased following weight loss and it was accompanied by enhanced expression of genes involved in de novo lipogenesis. This effect of weight loss was not driven by changes of PPAR© sensitivity to rosiglitazone. Weight loss also enhanced the expression of adiponectin and leptin while reducing that of MCP1 and IL8 by cultured adipocytes.Thus, the weight-reducing dietary intervention increased adipogenic capacity of preadipocytes and shifted their secretion towards lower inflammatory profile. Reprogramming of preadipocytes could represent an adaptation to weight loss leading to partial restoration of pre-obese adipose tissue traits, and thus contribute to the improvement of metabolic status. However, enhanced adipogenesis could also contribute to the unwanted weight regain after initial weight loss.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Cancer, Obesity, Cellular differentiation, Fat, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte


Subcutaneous white adipose tissue (scWAT) is the major fat depot in humans and is a central player in regulating whole body metabolism. Skin exposure to UV wavelengths from sunlight is required for Vitamin D synthesis and pigmentation, although it is plausible that longer visible wavelengths that penetrate the skin may regulate scWAT function. In this regard, we discovered a novel blue light-sensitive current in human scWAT that is mediated by melanopsin coupled to transient receptor potential canonical cation channels. This pathway is activated at physiological intensities of light that penetrate the skin on a sunny day. Daily exposure of differentiated adipocytes to blue light resulted in decreased lipid droplet size, increased basal lipolytic rate and alterations in adiponectin and leptin secretion. Our results suggest that scWAT function may be directly under the influence of ambient sunlight exposure and may have important implications for our current understanding of adipocyte biology. (150 words).

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Light, Obesity, Fat, Adipose tissue, Sunlight, Adipocyte, Visible spectrum


High-protein (HP) intake during weight loss (WL) therapy is often recommended because it reduces the loss of lean tissue mass. However, HP intake could have adverse effects on metabolic function, because protein ingestion reduces postprandial insulin sensitivity. In this study, we compared the effects of ∼10% WL with a hypocaloric diet containing 0.8 g protein/kg/day and a hypocaloric diet containing 1.2 g protein/kg/day on muscle insulin action in postmenopausal women with obesity. We found that HP intake reduced the WL-induced decline in lean tissue mass by ∼45%. However, HP intake also prevented the WL-induced improvements in muscle insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, as well as the WL-induced adaptations in oxidative stress and cell structural biology pathways. Our data demonstrate that the protein content of a WL diet can have profound effects on metabolic function and underscore the importance of considering dietary macronutrient composition during WL therapy for people with obesity.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Enzyme, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Metabolic syndrome


Position Statement: The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) bases the following position stand on a critical analysis of the literature regarding the effects of diet types (macronutrient composition; eating styles) and their influence on body composition. The ISSN has concluded the following. 1) There is a multitude of diet types and eating styles, whereby numerous subtypes fall under each major dietary archetype. 2) All body composition assessment methods have strengths and limitations. 3) Diets primarily focused on fat loss are driven by a sustained caloric deficit. The higher the baseline body fat level, the more aggressively the caloric deficit may be imposed. Slower rates of weight loss can better preserve lean mass (LM) in leaner subjects. 4) Diets focused primarily on accruing LM are driven by a sustained caloric surplus to facilitate anabolic processes and support increasing resistance-training demands. The composition and magnitude of the surplus, as well as training status of the subjects can influence the nature of the gains. 5) A wide range of dietary approaches (low-fat to low-carbohydrate/ketogenic, and all points between) can be similarly effective for improving body composition. 6) Increasing dietary protein to levels significantly beyond current recommendations for athletic populations may result in improved body composition. Higher protein intakes (2.3-3.1 g/kg FFM) may be required to maximize muscle retention in lean, resistance-trained subjects under hypocaloric conditions. Emerging research on very high protein intakes (>3 g/kg) has demonstrated that the known thermic, satiating, and LM-preserving effects of dietary protein might be amplified in resistance-training subjects. 7) The collective body of intermittent caloric restriction research demonstrates no significant advantage over daily caloric restriction for improving body composition. 8) The long-term success of a diet depends upon compliance and suppression or circumvention of mitigating factors such as adaptive thermogenesis. 9) There is a paucity of research on women and older populations, as well as a wide range of untapped permutations of feeding frequency and macronutrient distribution at various energetic balances combined with training. Behavioral and lifestyle modification strategies are still poorly researched areas of weight management.

Concepts: Protein, Metabolism, Nutrition, Obesity, Fat, Adipose tissue, Diet, Dieting