Obesity is a complex disease, often summed up in BMI. Scientists reveal its multiplicity by distinguishing two subtypes of obesity, characterized neither by genes nor by diet.
Obesity is usually diagnosed based on the calculation ofBMIBMI : if it is greater than or equal to 30, the patient is obese. This imperfect tool does not reflect the physiological differences between patients or their state of health. Obesity is a complex disease with many faces; at least two, according to a recent study published in Nature Metabolism. ” We have observed for the first time that there are at least two metabolic subtypes of obesity, each with their own physiological and molecular characteristics that influence health. “, explains Andrew Pospisilik, researcher in epigenetics at the Van Adel Institute in the United States.
Two obesity subtypes discovered
The first subtype of obesity discovered by scientists is characterized by the significant presence of fat mass in the body. The second is characterized by both a surplus of massmass fat and dry mass — of the muscles –, but also by very high markers of inflammation, favoring the appearance of diseases and cancers in the patients concerned. Experiments carried out on mice show that this inflammation is not due to GenoaGenoa not to the environment but to epigenetics, the DNA that surrounds the genes and regulates them by different mechanisms which, in this specific case, are triggered at random.
“These results offer a nuanced view of this disease and the opportunity to diagnose it more accurately.”
” Our lab results are the copy carboncarbon results obtained in humans. We further observed two distinct types of obesity, one of which appears epigenetically “triggerable” marked by more dry mass and fat mass, high inflammatory signals and insulin levels and a strong epigenetic signature “says Andrew Pospisilik.
According to scientists, genes and the environment only account for 30 to 50% of who we are. The rest is dictated by something else, epigenetics presumably. ” Epigenetics can act as a switch that “turns on” or “off” genes, which can promote health or, when things go wrong, disease concludes Andrew Pospisilik. Over a billion people are obese worldwide. These results offer a nuanced view of this disease and the opportunity to diagnose it more precisely.