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Scientists Find Gene Related to Weight Gain

Scientists find gene RCAN1 responsible for fat production, weight gain and obesity

By disabling the gene RCAN1, a person can eat as much they want without having to worry about gaining weight.

Scientist have discovered that blocking on single gene can boost metabolism and technically end weight gain and obesity. With global obesity levels rising exponentially, this could help fight the menace that has caused health problems for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The gene’s role was discovered by scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Flinders University in Australia while they were experimenting with mice.

In their report published in the journal EMBO Reports, the researchers found that a gene called RCAN1 was responsible for hindering metabolic processes in the body of mice, as well as restricting the production of body heat.

Once RCAN1 was disabled, their metabolism was boosted and allowed them to “burn up” many more calories than usual. This made the mice resistant to food-related weight gain.

Although the experiment has only been tested on mice, the researchers believe that it provides a solid foundation for finding a solution to obesity and metabolic conditions in humans.

“We know a lot of people struggle to lose weight or even control their weight for a number of different reasons. The findings in this study could mean developing a pill which would target the function of RCAN1 and may result in weight loss,” lead researcher Professor Damien Keating told Science Daily. “These results show we can potentially make a real difference in the fight against obesity.”

The team has already developed a series of drugs they believe could be used to target the protein produced by RCAN1, and are ready to test them “to see if they inhibit RCAN1 and whether they might represent potential new anti-obesity drugs.”

There are two types of fat in the human body, white fat and brown fat. While white fat is used to store energy, brown fat cells contain mitochondria, and are involved in burning up energy to produce body heat.

It is now believed that blocking RCAN1 could help turn white fat into brown fat, causing humans to burn more calories without having to partake in physical activity.

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