The connection between lean muscle and body fat is a complicated one, and while it is true that fat cells cannot be transformed into muscle, it’s important to know that muscle mass does use fat as a fuel source.
New research in The Journal of Clinical Investigation has identified two ways healthy muscles can control your body’s fat metabolism.
Researchers investigated the gene called KLF-15 by using a mouse and gene editing techniques. The researchers discovered that KLF-15 was essential for controlling fat uptake and usage by your muscles.
When KLF-15 is not there, fats are not able to enter the muscle to be used as energy and are instead sent to the liver, and to your white adipose tissue.
So what’s the secret to increasing your levels of KLF-15?
It’s as simple as being more active.
“We knew from previous work that KLF-15 was critical for muscle health, because its levels are increased after exercise,” explained Dr. Mukesh Jain, the senior scientist behind the research.
“Muscle loss of KLF-15 triggered a decrease in the exercise ability of the mice. The fact that KLF-15 is also vital to your metabolic health gives us a potential molecular link between good health and exercise.”
The report also revealed that eating foods rich in SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids), such as high-fiber foods, beans, vegetables and fruits, improved blood sugar, thus leading to easier weight management.
These findings prove we can easily burn more fat through physical exercise and eating more greens.