Investigating the Muscle Function in the Naturally Lean

Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWire) -- 04/03/2014 --There are those who struggle to maintain a toned physique, and those for whom it seems to come effortlessly to. Recent research has offered insight into how the muscles in the inherently thin work differently than in other bodies to give them an edge in the battle for a fit appearance.

Studies have previously found that aerobic capacity is a good predictor of daily physical activity levels, and the higher aerobic capacity a person has, the more fit they generally are. Recent studies however have looked at how muscle physiology affects overall leanness in the body in those with high aerobic capacity or low aerobic capacities.

Looking at female rats from each group, researchers noted that those with higher aerobic capacity levels were consistently more active than their lower capacity peers. While both groups had similar energy expenditure levels while at rest, there were large differences in calorie burn during mild engagement in activity. The rats with leaner genes (high aerobic capacity) demonstrated characteristics of “poor fuel economy.” This means that more calories were burned when performing the same exercises as those with fatter genes. This could be because leaner muscles have higher levels of proteins that support energy expenditure rather than those that encourage energy conservation, as those often appear in their heavier counterparts.

Researchers are interested in the results as this could have implications for how we look at metabolism when treating or preventing obesity and other complications. By finding ways to maximize skeletal muscle energy, scientists may be able to take advantage of existing mechanisms that are already existent and utilized in naturally thin people.

The full study is published in the March issue of the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism. Using the information, scientists hope to capture better ways to treat obesity by encouraging better energy output in muscles of inactive parties.

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