Have Scientists Found Obesity Gene?
Researchers at the University of British Columbia say they may have a found a direct link between a specific gene and fat production, and that, they suggest, could become a key to fighting obesity.
While previous research identified a genetic links to body fat, the Canadian scientists focused on proteins that commonly show up in fat tissue of people living with obesity. They found that by silencing a gene associated with that protein in mice, they were able see a significant reduction in white fat, the main form of fat in the body.
In fact,the amount of fat in those mice was reduced by 50 percent, even though they ate the same amount of food as they had when they gained weight. The researchers also found that mice that were bred to have a higher level of this protein averaged 22 percent more white fat when fed a high-calorie diet.
The findings, published in Nature Communications, suggest that by suppressing the gene, excess fat in people could also be reduced. That could open up new opportunities for medications designed to prevent obesity.