The process of making fat, and its relationship with fat, has long been a topic of intense interest to researchers.
But until now, there has been no comprehensive understanding of how the fat we make is used to make foods that are high in fat and low in sugar.
Now, researchers from the University of Edinburgh have discovered that this relationship can be explained in terms of the fat in the food.
Their work, published in the journal Nature Communications, has shed light on the molecular pathways that are involved in this process.
In addition to helping us understand how the fatty acids that make up our food are metabolised, the research also reveals a new type of fat that is metabolised in a different way.
Dr Nicky O’Leary, the lead author of the study, said: “This research is important because we are now able to understand how fatty acids are made and used in our bodies.
It is also very important because fatty acids can act as a potential source of a number of novel treatments, for example to help the body recover from obesity.”
In the future, it may be possible to use the information we learn from this research to help design more effective therapies for obesity.”‘
A great tool’Fat, like any other food, is metabolized differently depending on the type of food that it is.
“This is why butter is considered to be a great tool for the body in making fat.””
We know that our body needs a large amount of saturated fat to provide energy for us, but also needs to store fat as an alternative source of energy,” said Dr O’Connor.
“This is why butter is considered to be a great tool for the body in making fat.”
This research shows that the fatty acid composition of butter can be very different to the fat that it contains, and that this differs in some ways from how it’s metabolised.
“While it may seem that butter is simply a very simple carbohydrate, we have shown that when we take a closer look at it, we find a number, if not more, of compounds that are made up of different fatty acids than we thought.”
Dr O’ Connor said:”Our research is not limited to the metabolic pathways of butter.
For instance, it has also been shown that butter has a number other properties, such as a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle that protects against coronary artery disease.”
When we look at the chemistry of butter, we are finding a number different types of fatty acid molecules that can have important roles in the process of how we make butter.
“These findings provide a great overview of the different fatty acid constituents in butter that we need to know about to understand exactly how these are made.”
The study also found that when people ate a high-fat, high-sugar diet for a week, the fats that were metabolised by the liver to make butter were much lower in the liver than the fats metabolised to make other fats.
This led to a loss of fat in people’s body that was similar to the loss that occurs when they eat a low fat, low-saturated fat diet.
“The study shows that our liver can use fats as a source of new fat in our body, in addition to making fat as a product of the liver, so this has the potential to help us live longer and healthier lives,” Dr Olin said.
More to come…
The study was funded by the European Union and the National Health Service (NHS).
The work was conducted at the Institute of Obesity and Metabolism at the University, Edinburgh, the Institute for Molecular Biochemistry at the Royal Holloway Medical School and the University Hospital Edinburgh.
This research has been published in Nature Communications.