Scientists have been searching for a way to help people lose unwanted weight without altering their diet or activity level for years. Now, it seems that doctors from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have isolated a gene that can be turned off and prevents mice from getting fat, even if they eat an unhealthy diet!
The gene is called Plin2 and controls fat storage and metabolism in both mice and humans. When researchers removed it from the genome, the mice became immune to obesity, even when they were fed a high fat diet. Mice, like humans, usually become obese if they consume too much fat and often exhibit an increased appetite for unhealthy foods.
Interestingly, the mice without their Plin2 gene ate less food and their fat cells were a whopping 20 percent smaller than mice with unaltered genes. Researchers also noticed that the mice missing the Plin2 gene did not have the tell tale systemic inflammation that is often associated with obesity.
The lead author of the study explained, “The mice were healthier. They had lower triglyceride levels, they were more insulin-sensitive, they had no incidents of fatty liver disease and there was less inflammation in the fat cells. It could mean that we have finally discovered a way to disrupt obesity in humans.
This discovery is obviously a major scientific breakthrough. Scientists believe that understanding the physiological process of fat storage and metabolism will provide additional insights into how we are affected by the consumption of various foods.
Since Plin2 is found in both people and mice, it seems logical that their findings are applicable to humans. They hope this information will be used to create new treatments and medications for people suffering from or at risk of obesity.
To read more, have a look at Medical Daily.