Saturday, July 15, 2006

Study: Protein Created By Fat Cells Causes Breathing Problems In Obese People

It turns out obesity has yet another negative side effect and it can take your breath away...LITERALLY!

This WebMD story is about a new study from Australian researchers who were growing lung cells in a test tube experiment and found a type of protein that is created by fat cells in someone who is overweight or obese is actually inflaming the inner lining of the lungs.

Lead researcher Dr. Michael Rolph, group leader of the Asthma Research Group with the Garvan Institute Of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, discovered during a test known as "gene profiling" that the protein aP2 is the culprit behind the fat cells storing fat molecules inside the lung's airways which can restrict the ability to breath and eventually leading to asthma in overweight and obese people. The fat in the body actually stimulated the production of aP2, the researchers observed.

This protein aP2 has previously been found to bind together fat tissue in people with obesity and diabetes.

"We were really surprised to find aP2 in the lung," one of the study researchers noted. "We then looked at what would happen when we removed the aP2 gene in mouse models [of asthma]. Mice without aP2 are protected from asthma attacks."

Before I started livin' la vida low-carb and losing 180 pound in 2004, I had started having some breathing problems already. At 410 pounds, it's almost inevitable that you are putting a lot of strain on your body to begin with pulling a heavy load around with you everywhere you go. All I have to do to realize how physically draining that was is to try carrying around NINE 20-POUND SACKS OF POTATOES now. HA! Yeah right! But that's exactly what I was doing then as it took its toll on my body.

Thankfully, I was able to lose all of that weight in just one year and my breathing problems miraculously went away. Gee, imagine that! I suppose this protein aP2 was getting into my lungs and inflaming them to the point that I needed to take Advair to relieve the pain and discomfort of not being able to breath very well. That's a sick feeling if you've never experienced it.

In fact, Dr. Rolph said obesity makes it THREE TIMES more likely a person will develop asthma. YIKES! Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising to anyone that the best way to reduce this risk of having breathing problems is to lose weight.

Uh, yeah. Wanna breathe better? Lose weight. Wanna lose weight? Find a plan that will work for you and then do it for the rest of your life. People try to complicate this issue way too much by trying to wiggle their way out of doing what they need to do. If you are overweight or obese, then the excuse time is over and it's time to get moving for the sake of your health.

Dr. Rolph said this discovery about aP2 in the lungs of overweight and obese people is the first such scientific connection made between obesity and asthma.

"We thought [aP2] was exclusively found in the fat tissue so it was very unexpected," Dr. Rolph revealed. "Our discovery provides a potential explanation for a link between [obesity and asthma] which wasn't obvious before."

With all the public attention being paid to the dangers of second-hand cigarette smoke to nonsmokers, Dr. Rolph said this problem with aP2 may also be one of the reasons for the onset of lung disease and lung cancer as well and should be given the same amount of concern as smoking. That is why treatment options to target the destruction of aP2 are already underway.

"Blocking aP2 function is a novel approach for asthma treatment and other inflammatory lung diseases," the researchers stated. "It's exciting that we might be able to use our new knowledge to find new therapies for this disease."

I'm not in favor of a developing a new drug to remove this aP2 from the body when the natural remedy of weight loss will do the trick. I know, I know, it's not easy to lose weight and I'll be the first to admit that. But is that a reason to not even try? Absolutely not. When you find what's right for you and vow you will never give up on it for the rest of your life, then you cannot help but become the incredible weight loss success that so many others of us have become, too.

The results of this study are found in the August 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

You can e-mail Dr. Michael Rolph about his study at


Blogger Hellistile said...

Jimmy: I've had asthma for years and know that it is aggrevated by my weight. However, if all doctors are like my Pulminary Specialist, and if they can focus their eyes away from a prescription pad long enough to contemplate this issue, can we really rely on them to actually give dietary advice? It will either not happen cause they don't know anything about nutrition or have the wrong dietary information. It's fine that this research is coming out, and we all know that obesity causes all sorts of diseases and deaths. But does anyone besides us low-carbers know how to treat obesity?

7/17/2006 2:13 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

That's why the education process must continue to help people understand there are other answers available. The greatest lessons are the ones you can see, so being the example for others to follow will speak louder than anything a doctor might say. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP and BE that example in your sphere of influence.

7/17/2006 3:04 PM  

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