Stress Can Make It Harder to Lose Weight
If sometimes it feels like your body is working against you when you try to drop a few pounds, you may be right.
Blame it on stress, at least in part.
In tests with cells and mice, University of Florida researchers found that chronic stress triggers production of a protein called betatrophin, which inhibits an enzyme involved in burning fat.
"Betatrophin reduces the body's ability to break down fat, underscoring a link between chronic stress and weight gain," said study co-author Dr. Li-Jun Yang.
It's not clear what effect betatrophin has on fat metabolism in humans, and animal research results don't always turn out the same in people. But these findings suggest that chronic stress can be a factor in making it difficult to lose weight.
The study was published in the February issue of the journal BBA Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids.
The investigators point out that mild stress can boost people's performance over the shortterm and help them get through tough situations. But chronic stress can be more harmful.
"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.
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