“This information could be used by clinicians to determine who would benefit the most from intensified lifestyle interventions such as physical activity, which enhances hormone-stimulated lipolysis and may therefore prevent fat accumulation and metabolic disturbances,” study coauthor Mikael Ryden says in a statement.
Ryden and his colleagues collected fat biopsies from 89 women, and followed up after an average of 13 years. The team found that, compared with women who went on to maintain a stable weight over that period, women who gained weight over the course of the study showed relatively low levels of hormone-stimulated lipolysis and low expression of genes involved in regulating fat breakdown.
The researchers also developed an algorithm to estimate the rates of hormone-stimulated lipolysis on the basis of biomarkers in the blood and other related characteristics, such as waist circumference and body weight. Tested with a small group of women, the algorithm successfully estimated the women’s real hormone-stimulated lipolysis levels and allowed the researchers to make accurate predictions about participants’ weight gain over time.
“These preliminary results suggest that our algorithm could be used instead of tissue biopsies in a routine clinical setting to estimate hormone-stimulated lipolysis,” Ryden says in the statement. “However, future studies are needed to validate the algorithm in larger groups of individuals and to determine whether the findings of this study also apply to men.”