Single Gene Controls Body Fat

A gene found in many animals – from fruit flies to humans – has been shown to regulate fat synthesis and storage:

Mice with [the fat burn gene switched off] ate as much or more than normal mice. However, they were leaner, had diabetes-resistant fat cells, and were better able to control insulin and blood-sugar metabolism. In contrast, animals with [the fat burn gene turned down] were fatter and less healthy, and had diabetes. The researchers also showed that gene activity could be turned up or down, not just on or off.

So is a “I can remain on the couch and yet be a babe” pill in the works? Don’t hold your breath.

Dr David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, warned that it could take many years to develop genetic treatments for obesity. In the meantime, he said, the only way to tackle the problem effectively was to encourage people to eat healthily and take exercise.

More at the BBC.

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