Researchers Defy Biology: Mice Remain Slim on Burger Diet – University of Copenhagen

UCPH LOM > News > 2018 > Researchers Defy Biolo...

11 May 2018

Researchers Defy Biology: Mice Remain Slim on Burger Diet

Our bodies are extremely efficient at storing fat from food into our fat tissue. In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have managed to completely block the development of obesity. The researchers deleted an enzyme and made it impossible for mice to increase their amount of fat tissue, despite the mice eating an extremely fatty diet. They are hoping the findings will open new avenues for better treatment of obesity. 

We are our own worst enemy when it comes to developing obesity. The body is naturally geared to assimilate energy from the food we eat and store it as fat until it is needed. This is the result of millions of years of evolution under the pressure of low food availability.

But today, where many of us have constant access to high calorie foods, our body’s impressive ability to convert food into fat has, ironically, become problematic. Consequently, the number of overweight people worldwide is skyrocketing, leading to large health consequences for both the individual and society.

However, as part of a new study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have now managed to inhibit the body’s ability to store fat. They genetically delete the enzyme NAMPT in fat tissue of mice, and this renders the animals completely resistant to becoming overweight or obese, even on a very fatty diet.

‘We gave the mice a diet that more or less corresponds to continuously eating burgers and pizza. Still, it was impossible for them to expand their fat tissue. Our ultimate goal is that by understanding these fundamental underpinnings of how we become obese, we can apply our finding to the development of novel treatment strategies for metabolic disease,’ says Karen Nørgaard Nielsen, first author on the publication and a Ph.D. student at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research.

Read the full news story at HEALTH Sciences News.