Our bodies are extremely efficient at storing fat from food into our fat tissue. In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have managed to completely block the development of obesity.
The researchers deleted an enzyme and made it impossible for mice to increase their amount of fat tissue, despite the mice eating an extremely fatty diet. They are hoping the findings will open new avenues for better treatment of obesity.
But today, where many of us have constant access to high calorie foods, our body’s impressive ability to convert food into fat has, ironically, become problematic. Consequently, the number of overweight people worldwide is skyrocketing, leading to large health consequences for both the individual and society.
However, as part of a new study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have now managed to inhibit the body’s ability to store fat. They genetically delete the enzyme NAMPT in fat tissue of mice, and this renders the animals completely resistant to becoming overweight or obese, even on a very fatty diet.
‘We gave the mice a diet that more or less corresponds to continuously eating burgers and pizza. Still, it was impossible for them to expand their fat tissue. Our ultimate goal is that by understanding these fundamental underpinnings of how we become obese, we can apply our finding to the development of novel treatment strategies for metabolic disease,’ says Karen Nørgaard Nielsen, first author on the publication and a Ph.D. student at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research.
High-Fat Food, Same Weight
The findings are in line with results obtained from humans. Several studies have shown that the presence of large amounts of the enzyme NAMPT in blood and in stomach fat tissue is significantly connected with being overweight or obese. However, this study provides the first evidence that NAMPT is absolutely required to become overweight or obese and that lack of NAMPT in fat tissue fully protects against obesity.
In the University of Copenhagen study, the researchers compared how normal mice and mice lacking NAMPT in fat tissue gained weight when given either high-fat food or a healthier, lower-fat diet. When on the healthy diet, there was no difference in body weight or the amount of fat between the normal mice and the mice lacking NAMPT.
However, when the mice were given high-fat food, the control mice became very obese, yet the mice lacking NAMPT gained no more weight from high-fat food than when they were on the healthier diet. In addition, the mice lacking NAMPT maintained better control of blood glucose than normal mice when eating high-fat food.
Contradicts the General View
The result challenges the general view of NAMPT, which is largely seen as an enzyme that should be boosted for therapeutic purposes.
‘NAMPT appears to increase the metabolic functionality of almost every tissue in the body in which it has been studied. For example, there are indications that the liver and skeletal muscle may benefit from increased NAMPT activity. We similarly find that NAMPT is critical for fat tissue function. Unfortunately, that function is efficiently storing fat. NAMPT in fat tissue was likely once an extraordinary benefit to our ancestors but in today’s society full of high-fat, calorically-dense foods, it may now pose a liability’, says Associate Professor Zachary Gerhart-Hines from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research and corresponding author on the study.
He does not necessarily believe that generally decreasing NAMPT is a viable treatment strategy in humans. There would be too great a risk for potentially harmful consequences in other tissues of the body.
However, he suggests that this study may pave the way for more research into how NAMPT is linked to the storage of fat from the food we eat. By learning biologically how we become obese in the first place, he hopes that it will eventually be possible to target one of the underlying mechanisms in humans to treat obesity and metabolic disease.
The Latest on: Obesity
via Google News
The Latest on: Obesity
- Increased breast cancer risk in obesity linked to fat cell chemicalson August 11, 2020 at 5:28 am
Obesity increases the release of tumor-promoting molecules from fat tissue and is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a study published in Endocrine-Related Cancer. The ...
- Obesity during pregnancy linked to foetal brain developmenton August 11, 2020 at 4:40 am
Obesity during pregnancy could impact a baby’s brain development, a new study has suggested. The research linked high body mass index (BMI), which is an indicator of unhealthy weight, to changes in ...
- Obesity Among Pregnant Mothers May Affect Children’s Developing Brains, New Study Warnson August 11, 2020 at 4:20 am
New York researchers found a connection between two areas of the fetal brain were associated with the mother's BMI.
- Obesity in expectant mothers may hinder the development of babies' brainson August 10, 2020 at 11:03 pm
Obesity in expectant mothers may hinder the development of the babies' brains as early as the second trimester, a new study finds.
- Poverty causes obesity. Low-income families need to be better off to eat wellon August 9, 2020 at 3:37 am
Bans on junk food ads and five-a-day advice miss the point. To cut obesity people need support and jobs ...
- Redefining obesity: New guideline shifts focus to treating excess fat as a chronic diseaseon August 8, 2020 at 5:11 pm
Obesity should be treated like any other chronic disease instead of something people can change through diet and exercise, according to a recently updated Canadian health-care guideline. Over the past ...
- Obesity, race play roles in severe COVID-19 illness among kidson August 7, 2020 at 2:57 pm
That's equal to the proportion of adults with COVID-19 who have required critical care, even though children in general are less likely to be as severely impacted by the virus as adults. Forty-two ...
- Obesity Epidemic Threatens Effectiveness of Any COVID-19 Vaccineon August 6, 2020 at 10:58 am
In the US, where at least 4.6 million people have been infected and nearly 155,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded COVID-19: obesity.
- America’s obesity epidemic threatens effectiveness of any COVID vaccineon August 6, 2020 at 7:30 am
But in the United States, where at least 4.6 million people have been infected and nearly 155,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded COVID-19: ...
via Bing News