Obesity Is Not a Choice: Scientists Identify Key Regulator of Body Weight

By: | April 16th, 2022

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Today, obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally and has nearly tripled during the last four decades. About 2 billion adults worldwide are overweight and one-third of them are obese.

In 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared obesity a major public health problem and a global epidemic. It severely impairs the health and quality of life of people.

Now, the scientists have identified the key regulator of body weight

A team of researchers at Yale University has identified a protein that plays a key role in regulating body weight. This discovery deepens our understanding of the way our bodies respond to food.

Scientists were exploring how a protein called augmentor-alpha contributes to human cancers. They discovered that this protein, known to promote hunger, regulates body weight in mice.

Exploring the relationship between augmentor-alpha and metabolism, scientists found that mice engineered to be missing the protein altogether were thinner and more physically active than regular mice, regardless of what they ate.

Joseph Schlessinger, co-director of the Yale Cancer Biology Institute, and senior author of the study said, “From what we observed in this study, we think one of augmentor-alpha’s roles in the body is to slow down metabolism when there’s a lack of food,”

“It’s like it is saying, ‘You don’t have food, don’t expend so much energy.’”

This medical breakthrough could lead to new treatments for metabolic disorders.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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