A new research has revealed that obesity greatly accelerates aging of the liver, which might explain the early onset of many age-related diseases, including liver cancer, in obese people.
According to the scientists at UCLA, who recently developed biomarker of aging known as an epigenetic clock, carrying excessive weight can negatively impact select human tissues.
Study's first author Steve Horvath said that this is the first study that evaluated the effect of body weight on the biological ages of a variety of human tissues and given the obesity epidemic in the Western world, the results of this study are highly relevant for public health.
Horvath's aging clock uses a previously unknown time-keeping mechanism in the body to accurately gauge the age of diverse human organs, tissues and cell types. He and his collaborators focused on a naturally occurring process called methylation, a chemical modification of the DNA molecule and proved accurate in matching biological to chronological age in lean subjects. But liver tissues from obese subjects tended to have a higher biological age than expected.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.