A study published in the journal “Cell” on Oct. 27 indicates that a link exists between B vitamins and fat accumulation in the body. The researchers have found a feedback loop responsible for the lipid formation and noticed its inhibition with folate. The discovery could lead to a better understanding of fat cells and the possible prevention of obesity.
SREBPs and Lipids
The researchers focused on the fatty acid biosynthesis genes, sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) and the one-carbon cycle (1CC). They discovered that SREBPs are responsible for activating the genes that lead to fat accumulation in the body. In normal circumstances, SREBPs are necessary for the eventual synthesis of lipid and cholesterol, so the body can function. However, SREBPs can deviate from normal behavior and lead to the excess production of lipids in the body.
The Role of Folate
The study focused on the feedback loop that was responsible for the production of the lipids and cholesterol. Information on S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) was also included. They found that blocking SAMe and PC could lead to an increased production of lipids and fats. However, folate could be used to stop this problem. Essentially, B vitamins were able to stop the accumulation of fat.
Folate has been recommended as a supplement for pregnant women for many years to stop neural tube defects. In addition, recent research published in “The American Journal of Epidemiology” supports findings that folate can lower the risk of breast cancer in women. B vitamins have been found to help metabolism in the past. There are also ongoing projects that study the potential use of B vitamins to reduce cardiovascular disease and various types of cancers.