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Protein Hikes Metabolism

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Karen Shelton View Drop Down
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Joined: November 26 2000
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    Posted: April 14 2006 at 3:06am
Protein found to hike metabolism

Imagine if a single pill could boost people's ability to burn fat and sugar, while at the same time suppressing appetite.

Sounds good enough to make a fat man drool, doesn't it?

It's a long shot, say health experts, but a new discovery could lead to such a development, and see the incidence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease drastically reduced.

The speculation results from research led by a Canadian scientist working at the University of Melbourne in Australia, Dr. Greg Steinberg.

His team has isolated an intra-muscular protein which activates an enzyme that increases metabolism. Theoretically, the protein could be used to correct metabolic abnormalities that contribute to obesity.

But the revelation isn't a "silver bullet" that promises to slay the chubby werewolf, says Dr. Diane Finegood, scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and former University of Alberta professor.

"We need this understanding of the complex biological mechanics that regulate weight if we're to ever have a pharmacological approach to the obesity (epidemic)," she said.

Most current obesity research focuses on exercise, portion control, and regulating appetite with hormones.

"But it's highly unlikely we'll ever find one drug that's a cure-all," Finegood said. "There's more than 600 genes associated with obesity, and the sociological factors behind obesity are also very complicated."

The research will likely help develop treatments for diabetes however, Finegood stressed. "Their molecule reverses insulin resistance to some extent, which could prevent them developing Type 2 diabetes.''

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada also lauded the finding, published in Nature Medicine, but said the obesity epidemic plaguing North America is best addressed through a healthy lifestyle.

"They've shown the biology behind food intake to be more complex than ever imagined, involving hormones from various organs and fat," said spokesman Dr. Jaques Genest.

"But health recommendations cannot hinge on pharmacological potential. People need to stop smoking, improve their diet, increase physical activity and avoid stress.''

Genest said development of drugs resulting from such studies take several years and typically costs about $1 billion.

"Pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures (like a gastric bypass) should only be reserved for extreme cases."

That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger or drives you totally insane. :-)
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AnaisSatin View Drop Down

Joined: June 28 2004
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AnaisSatin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2006 at 5:40pm

Thank you for posting this article, Karen. I appreciate how it emphasizes no real silver bullet, but that a healthy lifestyle is still necessary.


my LJ, 40 inches long
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