TUESDAY, July 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Keeping a healthy weight is not easy. Even if you manage to lose a few pounds, they often return.
Why does the body seem to promote obesity?
New research suggests that the answer lies way back in human evolution and has a mechanism to prevent hunger that triggers the body to store fat.
The key to this mechanism is a protein called "RAGE," said scientists from New York University (NYU) who work with mice. They believe that RAGE has helped keep old people from starving when food is scarce.
But today, in times of abundance, there is one mistake: RAGE is produced to combat the cellular stress caused by overeating .
The protein seems to confuse this stress with hunger. and so it turns off the body's ability to burn fat. The result: Fat is easy to accumulate but difficult to break down.
Yet, there is a silver lining to all that, the NYU team said, as research may lead to anti-obesity drugs.
"Our thinking When we put mice without RAGE expression on a high-fat diet, they eat the food, but they do not become obese," said the study author Dr. Ann Marie Schmidt of the NYU School of Medicine.
And a lack of WUT seemed safe, at least for mice. "When you completely eradicate RAGE in mice, they have normal reproduction and no perception problems," she said.
The researchers hope that RAGE seems to be active only during times of metabolic stress, rather than eliminating any problems during day to day functions.
But do not put your hopes on a RAGE-extinguishing drug yet.
Schmidt quickly noted that such a drug is still a long way off, as research is currently taking place in mice. Results from animal experiments can not always be transferred to humans.
Nevertheless, Schmidt said the potential was exciting.
In addition to limiting the body's ability to burn fat, RAGE can also contribute to inflammation throughout the body. Along with curbing obesity, the removal of the RAGE protein, according to the researchers, could help with some of the inflammatory consequences of obesity such as diabetes, cancer, arterial hardening and Alzheimer's.