BEERSHEBA, Israel, July 16 (UPI) -- Israeli and German researchers suggest body fat can become stressed and behave dysfunctionally.
The consequences of this dysfunctionality, the researchers say, may include common diseases -- such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases -- attributed to obesity.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, has identified a signaling pathway in abdominal fat. Their finding suggests fat is not a simple "storage" area but an active tissue excreting compounds and communicating with other tissues -- such as the liver, muscles, pancreas and the brain.
"Fat tissue in obesity is dysfunctional, yet, the processes that cause fat tissue to malfunction are poorly understood -- specifically, it is unknown how fat cells 'translate' stresses in obesity into dysfunction," study researcher Dr. Assaf Rudich of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel, said in a statement.
The study by the Ben Gurion University and University of Leipzig, Germany, researchers has been based on fat tissue samples from people undergoing abdominal surgery.