By UF News
In cell and mouse model experiments, University of Florida Health researchers have discovered that chronic stress stimulates production of betatrophin, a protein that then goes on to inhibit an enzyme involved in fat metabolism. Those findings were published recently in the journal BBA Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids.
Its role as a stress-related protein brings new attention to betatrophin, which was once hailed by researchers elsewhere as a breakthrough therapy for diabetes, but later deemed ineffective.
While the latest properties of betatrophin have yet to be tested in a clinical setting, one researcher said the findings have potential implications for humans.
“Betatrophin reduces the body’s ability to break down fat, underscoring a link between chronic stress and weight gain,” said Li-Jun Yang, M.D., a professor and lead investigator in the UF College of Medicine’s department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine.
While researchers have yet to test betatrophin’s effect on fat metabolism in humans, Yang said the new findings explain how reducing stress can be beneficial. While short-term mild stress can help people perform better and get through difficult situations, long-term stress can be far more detrimental.
“Stress causes you to accumulate more fat, or at least slows down fat metabolism. This is yet another reason why it’s best to resolve stressful situations and to pursue a balanced life,” Yang said.
Read the full story here (via news.ufl.edu).