According to a new UCLA study, patients who are obese are more prone to developing age-related diseases earlier in life, including liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Now, new information has been discovered that also establishes the link between obesity and an increased risk of liver aging. The study gained more traction since, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a third of the American adult population is obese.
According to the study, when a person is obese, it accelerates the body's aging process. First author, Prof. Steve Horvath from the David Geffen school of Medicine in UCLA said that this theory was previously impossible to prove, until the team was able to develop the "aging clock" last year, which is a timekeeping tool that researchers say can accurately determine the biological age of different human cells, tissues, and organs. This tool operates on the basis of the DNA methylation process. This, Prof. Horvath says, was able to give them the link that they were looking for to establish the relationship between accelerated liver aging and obesity.
According to the research-that was conducted on nearly 1,200 samples of human tissues, 140 of which were liver tissues-for every 10 units that were added onto a subject's body mass index (BMI), the liver's biological age increased by 3.3 years. Prof. Horvath says, "This does not sound like a lot, but is actually a very strong effect. For some people, the agent celebration do to obesity will be much more severe, even after 10 years older." The team also pointed out that losing weight will not automatically reverse the accelerated aging that deliver has undergone.
The researchers concluded her study by saying that, "The increased at the genetic age of liver tissue in obese individuals should provide insights into common liver related comorbidities of obesity, such as insulin resistance and liver cancer. These findings support the hypothesis that obesity is associated with accelerated aging effects and stresses once more the importance of maintaining a healthy weight."