Polish researchers have identified novel markers for detecting early-stage obesity. This breakthrough method not only enhances our understanding of the disease and its complications but also enables the early detection of obesity-related changes.
Challenging Early Detection:
Early detection of obesity-related changes is a complex diagnostic area. Current markers like Body Mass Index (BMI) often fail to provide a realistic assessment of a patient’s condition since they do not monitor systemic, tissue-level, and cellular pathologies in real-time.
A team led by Dr. Magdalena Szczerbowska-Boruchowska from AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow and Dr. Agata Ziomber-Lisiak from Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum explored the analysis of chemical element concentrations in body tissues, particularly trace elements. Their findings are published in “Biochimica et Biophysica Acta” and “International Journal of Molecular Sciences.”
Significance of Trace Elements:
Trace elements play essential roles in various tissue processes, from structural functions to enzymatic reactions, energy metabolism, and electrical signaling. Previous studies hinted at anomalies in trace element levels in the blood and hair of obese individuals.
Complexity of Obesity:
Obesity’s biochemical mechanisms are not fully understood, but it disrupts normal tissue functions, where trace elements play a crucial role. Conventional markers like high triglycerides, low HDL, hypertension, or elevated blood glucose are often unreliable, especially for metabolically healthy but obese individuals.
Analyzing Trace Elements:
Researchers used X-ray fluorescence analysis to monitor trace element changes in rat tissues during obesity development. They identified potential chemical obesity markers, with rubidium standing out as the most significant.
BMI, widely used in healthcare, has limitations. It doesn’t consider factors like muscle mass, body proportions in children, or the distribution of fat, especially visceral fat, which poses health risks.
Better Detection, Better Protection:
This research aims to enhance our understanding of obesity’s pathogenesis and complications, facilitating faster and more accurate detection. Timely identification is vital to prevent advanced, irreversible secondary complications associated with excessive body fat.