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A team of scientists has uncovered a potential approach to combat obesity in those prone to weight gain. The Universite Catholique de Louvain scientists kick-started the natural process by which genetically predisposed obese mice to gain weight, opening up a new potential approach to fighting off obesity. The study was presented at The International Liver CongressTM in Barcelona, Spain.
It suggests that impaired brown adipose tissue (BAT), otherwise known as 'brown fat', drives obesity, and by stimulating heat production in this fatty tissue, weight-management, and glucose tolerance can be improved.
The results show that certain cellular impairments found in one's metabolic make-up increase the likelihood of obesity and the associated issues, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, said lead author Laurence Poekes. By intervening to reverse such impairments using a mouse model, we believe effective therapeutic strategies could be developed to combat obesity and associated comorbidities.
In the study, male foz/foz mice were studied as they are prone to developing metabolic syndrome, which is characterised by obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The foz/foz mice were studied alongside wild-type mice that do not have the same metabolic predisposition.
The results showed that for the foz/foz mice that had stimulated BAT activity, they experienced decreased body weight gain and improved glucose tolerance compared to untreated foz/foz mice. Read: Study links obesity in late teens to sudden death in midlife.
This study uncovers a smart approach that could help the medical community develop effective interventions to address our global population's obesity epidemic, says Professor Tom Hemming Karlssen, EASL Vice-Secretary. I look forward to seeing this approach further investigated in future research. Read: Parents, that fat is not cute, it could be obesity!
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