It is no secret that exercise helps maintain a healthy weight but very little is known of molecular mechanisms that generate other benefits. Recent new research sheds light on this mystery by discovering a molecule that is produced during exercise and increases the gene expression involved in fat burning.
According to study results published in the Cell Metabolism Journal
led by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the new molecule, called BAIBA (beta-aminoisobutyric acid) is produced in muscle cells when you exercise and then released into the bloodstream. Thus, distributed throughout the body and goes to multiple tissues.
In fat tissue, BAIBA upgrades genes that regulate the production of heat from the burning of calories and stimulates the lipid oxidation in the liver, thus avoiding undue accumulation . In addition, it also plays a key role in weight loss, and helps balance blood sugar levels .
This conclusion results from experiments done in mice and were later confirmed by analysis in over 2,000 volunteers. It was observed that the higher the level of BAIBA in the blood, the lower are cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Furthermore, the more BAIBA circulates in the blood, the more efficient is insulin and a high level of the molecule is usually associated with a moderate body weight. The researchers came across BAIBA when they were researching how a protein called PGC-1∝, dispatches signals to other tissues in the body. They discovered BAIBA was released from muscle cells when forcing the expression of the PGC-1∝ protein. A study researcher, Dr. Robert Gerszten, from the Cardiology Division and Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusets General Hospital, said in a statement, "Our finding bolsters the underlying notion that signals generated in one organ -such as exercising muscle- are released into the circulation and influence other tissues such as fat cells and liver".
These findings suggest that manipulating BAIBA or the molecule generating enzymes may have therapeutic potential, since fat-burning affects multiple aspects of metabolic health associated with diabetes, heart diseases and other health conditions. In fact, regular physical activity is the first choice of treatment for many metabolic diseases, especially obesity and diabetes.
When people take in more calories than they burn, the body stores the excess calories as fat . According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), fat is a type of nutrient and a source of energy that helps the body absorb vitamins. It also has an important role in cholesterol levels.
However, not all fats are equal and saturated fats like butter, hard fat and lard fats (called trans fats) found in vegetable fats, some margarines, crackers, cookies, sandwiches and or other fried foods made with partially hydrogenated oils should be avoided.
recommends replacing these fats with oils like canola, olive, safflower and sunflower. Eating too much fat can contribute to obesity , since calories are converted into fat more easily than carbohydrates and proteins. Fat can confuse the appetite so that people do not realize when they are full. Some fats also raise the blood pressure and total cholesterol, and can increase the risk of some cancers, heart diseases and diabetes.