Researchers uncovered a reason why obese people have a higher risk for health complications — a protein called pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) that is secreted by fat cells.
Research on mice shows that if some of PEDF’s action are blocked, it may reverse some complications for obese individuals and also opens up new drug opportunities.
PEDF is produced by fat cells in overweight people with higher levels of protein in the bloodstream. The protein can trigger insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes in the bloodstream and liver and also increases risk for heart disease.
However, tests on the obese lab mice found that treatments that blocked PEDF’s action resulted in lowering blood fat level and reversed some of their insulin resistance. As the mice lost weight, their PEDF levels fell.