New Research Suggests Hope For Obese People!
Researchers say they have found an enzyme associated with obesity and a loss of exercise capacity in midlife in mice. This discovery could eventually lead to brand new weight-loss medications.
The team of researchers at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute said one group of mice a received a drug that inhibits the activity of the enzyme called DNA-PK. Another group of mice did not receive the drug. Then, both groups were fed a high-fat diet.
The group of mice that received the inhibitor-experienced 40 percent less weight gain than the other group of mice, according to the research study in the journal Cell Metabolism.
The researchers said that The new findings challenge the current ideas about why people gain weight as they age.
“Our society attributes the weight gain and lack of exercise at midlife [approximately 30-60 years] primarily to poor lifestyle choices and lack of willpower,” said study lead author Dr. Jay Chung, head of the institute’s Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research.
Research showed that the average weight gain between the ages of 20 – 50 is around 30 pounds, even though people generally consume less food during this time.
Chung and his colleagues looked for the biochemical changes in mice during midlife and found that DNA-PK increases in activity with age. Also, the researchers said the enzyme was found to help the conversion of nutrients to fat.
“This study shows that there is a genetic program driven by an overactive enzyme that promotes weight gain and loss of exercise capacity at midlife,” Chung said in an NHLBI news release.
“Our studies indicate that DNA-PK is one of the drivers of the metabolic and fitness decline that occurs during aging, which makes staying lean and physically fit difficult and increases susceptibility to metabolic diseases like diabetes. The identification of this new mechanism is very important for improving public health,” he said.
Obesity has been linked with a number of chronic illnesses and diseases, including type 2 diabetes and even heart disease.
“The study opens the door to the development of a new type of weight-loss medication that could work by inhibiting DNA-PK activity,” Chung said.
It is, however, important to note that even though the research seems promising in animals, that doesn’t always translate well to humans.
For now, it is suggested that middle-aged people fighting obesity should still focus on calorie reduction and increased exercise, the researchers recommended.
Or you could Instagram your food to lose weight!