When we hear about metabolism, we automatically think of issues related to the consumption of energy reserves and being overweight. The truth is that it is much more complex than that.
Metabolism is very broad and encompasses numerous chemical reactions that occur in our organism to acquire and use the energy we need in numerous functions, since every living organism requires the generation and consumption of constant energy to keep its cellular structures in order, which is what allows it to remain alive.
Anabolism and Catabolism: Metabolism division
Due to its extension, metabolism is grouped into two main categories (catabolism pursues the generation of energy - and anabolism - consumes energy to synthesize molecules) which in turn are divided into metabolic pathways. We could define the concept of metabolic pathway as a series of ordered and chained chemical reactions that work together to obtain an end.
Among the main metabolic pathways we would like to highlight the beta oxidation of fatty acids that helps to understand how genetic variants influence your ADNTRO results from the "Cuida tu línea" (Metabolism) guide.
Beta oxidation is the metabolic pathway by which fatty acids are degraded and ends with the electron transport chain and the obtaining of energy in the form of ATP (a highly energetic molecule that allows important processes such as muscle contraction). As you can imagine, this is a route to obtain energy from our energy reserves.
This metabolic pathway occurs in the mitochondria, cell organelles responsible for supplying most of the energy needed for cellular activity.
The proton gradient generated in the electron transport chain can be "diverted" to generate heat instead of energy, a process known as thermogenesis - the ability to increase the temperature of your metabolism through metabolic reactions.
This process is job of a gene called CPU, which participates in lipid metabolism (beta oxidation of fatty acids) and in the production of heat through mitochondrial uncoupling, that is, "diverting" that electron transport chain releasing energy in the form of heat, and preventing the synthesis of ATP (energy), increasing total fatty acid breakdown.
UCP (uncoupling protein) or thermogenin is also the biochemical and molecular marker of brown adipose tissue.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) may be a key target in addressing obesity through the activation of thermogenesis, i.e. the production of heat from stored fat through the expression of UCP.
Brown fat is a special type of body fat that is activated when you get cold. Brown fat produces heat to help maintain body temperature in cooler conditions because it contains many more mitochondria than white fat.
Therefore, if your results show a slow metabolism, it means that your genetic variants associated with the UCP gene do not favor the decoupling of the proton gradient from the mitochondrial electron transport chain and therefore do not favor the consumption of fatty acids.