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Scientists Discover Enzyme That Is Key To Fat Control

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Scientists Discover Enzyme That Is Key To Fat Control

Scientists discover protein that could provide a new weapon for battling obesity…

Scientists have discovered a fat controlling protein in the gut, which they hope could be the key to developing a drug to prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Researchers at the University of California found that an particular enzyme, MGAT2, seems to determine whether the fat we eat is burnt off, or stored in our body.

In tests on lab mice, the team found that mice without the protein were able to eat a high-fat diet while remaining slim and healthy.

The fat they absorbed was burnt off as energy, instead of being stored in the body.

new discovery could help combat obesity Scientists Discover Enzyme That Is Key To Fat Control

The results, published in the journal Nature Medicine, also showed that the mice in the study had lower levels of cholesterol and were better at processing sugar, cutting their risk of diabetes.

The researchers said:

“Our studies identify MGAT2 as a key determinant of energy metabolism in response to dietary fat and suggest that the inhibition of this enzyme may prove to be a useful strategy for treating obesity and other metabolic diseases associated with excessive fat intake.”

With over a quarter of obese people unable to effectively lose weight, a pill or drug that targets the metabolism of our fat could provide a breakthrough for suffers and would likely have mass appeal.

Last year, US scientists unveiled an experimental drug, AICAR, which tricks the muscles into thinking that have worked long and hard. This helps the body burn off fat and boosts fitness.

Mice treated with AICAR for four weeks burned more calories and had less fat than untreated mice and when tested on a treadmill, they could run almost 50 per cent longer.

Researcher Professor Ronald Evans, of the Salk Institute in California, said:

“We have exercise in a pill…
“It is tricking the muscle into “believing” it’s been exercised daily…
“It proves you can have a pharmacological equivalent to exercise.”

But obesity experts say such pills are years from the market, and claim most people would benefit from eating less and exercising more.

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