The future you dreamed of? Suppressing a single gene can allow you to eat without gaining weight


Promotional poster of the documentary "Supersize me & # 39;

No more diets: Eat as much as you want and do not suffer the consequences on the scale. This is what promises new research from the University of Flinders (Australia). According to their authors, the deletion of a single gene would function miracle. The team hopes that the results in mice will be equivalent in humans to fight obesity and serious diseases such as diabetes.

Obesity is a major global health epidemic and increases the risk of serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but there are no effective avenues for therapeutic treatments. The study, published in EMBO Reports, used a large genetic test in rodents to identify new genetic candidates that could cause obesity, which could pave the way for new pharmacological therapies.

By removing the gene known as RCAN1 in rats and feeding them a high-fat diet, they failed to gain weight even after eating high-fat foods for prolonged periods. They observed health improvements in the absence of the RCAN1 gene in a variety of different diets at different time intervals from eight weeks to six months.

"We know that many people struggle to lose weight or even control their weight for a number of different reasons. The results of this study may mean the development of a pill that focuses on the function of RCAN1 and results in weight loss," he explains. Damien Keating, lead author of the study.

Brown fat and white fat

The secret of this treatment is in the conversion of fats. There are two types of fat in the human body: brown fat burns energy, while white fat stores energy. According to Keating, the blocking of RCAN1 helps turn unhealthy white fat into healthy brown fat, presenting a possible treatment in the fight against obesity.

"In the light of our findings, the drugs we are developing to target RCAN1 would burn more calories while people are resting, which means that the body stores less fat without the need for a person to reduce their food intake or exercise" .

They caution that although the path to a potentially simple treatment opens, more research is needed to determine if these results are equivalent in humans. "Our research focuses on understanding how cells send signals to each other and how this affects the health and spread of the disease."

A study appeared earlier in the year in the journal Frontiers of Public Health He suggested that 76% of the world's population had excess fat. This problem is especially worrying in childhood. Overweight of a young child negatively affects their development in the future, according to an article published in the journal Obesity. American scientists have evaluated the weight of children under two years of age and their cognitive abilities at age five and eight, and found that obesity in childhood affects working memory and later spatial thinking.

Beatriz de Vera

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