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Medical News & Perspectives
October 4, 2006

Scientists Study Fat as Endocrine Organ

JAMA. 2006;296(13):1573-1575. doi:10.1001/jama.296.13.1573

While experts have been sounding the warning bell about obesity's potential links to increased risks for such conditions as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer, many of the molecular details of these associations have remained unclear.

Now researchers homing in on some of the mechanisms involved are finding that molecules called adipokines secreted by adipose tissue may play a major role. One adipokine, adiponectin, is of particular interest because it regulates insulin sensitivity and lipid oxidation and may lower the risk of myocardial infarction.