New discovery opens way to fat busting pill

March 8th, 2011 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 8 (IANS) A new discovery in mice could potentially pave the way to a fat busting pill for humans.

Harvard scientists found that reducing the function of a protein, Klotho, in obese mice with high blood sugar levels produced leaner versions with reduced blood sugar levels.

This protein also exists in humans, suggesting that selectively targeting Klotho could lead to a new class of drugs to reduce obesity and possibly Type 2 diabetes for people, The FASEB Journal reports.

“Our study is a small step toward reducing the sufferings of obese and diabetic individuals to bring back the joy of healthy life,” said M. Shawkat Razzaque, involved in the work from Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston.

Razzaque and colleagues fed increased amounts of food to leptin-deficient mice with the Klotho protein which caused obesity with high blood sugar levels, according to a Harvard statement.

A second set of mice was bred that was both leptin- and Klotho-deficient, and was fed the same diet as the first set.

The second set of mice was lean and had low blood sugar levels, suggesting that reduced Klotho function may not only diminish obesity, but also decrease blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, mice without Klotho function gained no body weight after eating a high-fat diet, while mice with functioning Klotho proteins gained body weight following a high-fat diet.

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