Fighting Obesity on The Cellular Level

A new finding in the field of cellular research and the struggle to lose weight could be the key in overcoming the adversities of having those flabs. With findings published recently in the Cell Metabolism journal, Dr. Jonathan Graff of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center reports that a single gene might have sole control over a body’s fat accumulation.

This study came after a month that Joslin Diabetes Center released its own findings regarding the effects of a sirtuin protein they named Sirt2 protein on the body’s ability to store fat.

According to the study which was also published in Cell Metabolism, Sirt2 which belongs to the sirtuin family of seven cellular proteins is said to be the key for treating obesity. The family of sirtuin proteins has been found to play vital roles in controlling aging and metabolism.

Sirt2 was discovered during studies done with Sirt1 proteins. Scientists found out that Sirt2 it seems is the most abundant of the sirtuins in fat cells. It was Dr. Ronald Kahn, chief of the Joslin Diabetes Center’s section on obesity and hormone action, and his team of researchers who wanted to find out how the fat cells would behave and how metabolism would be affected if levels of Sirt2 were changed.

So far, the research team in Joslin found out that when the levels of Sirt2 in increased, the cell’s ability to undergo differentiation and store fat is blocked or restricted. But when Sirt2 levels are reduced, fat production increases. And it is already an established fact that high amount of fats stored leads to obesity and with it obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Thus, according to Dr. Khan, to reduce the amount of fat in the body, an activator to increase the production of Sirt2 would be needed. The discovery is vital in the fight against obesity and finding long term solutions for accompanying diseases like diabetes.

Meanwhile, the recently published studies of Dr. Graff have explained that the presence of a gene called adipose, or "skinny gene" as it was labeled, would help win the fight to lose weight and would follow a new direction for medical treatment of obesity and even diabetes based on their discoveries and findings.

According to studies conducted by Graff, adipose is likely a high-level "master switch" which controls the body’s weight. The same gene is said to be dose-sensitive which means combining the variants would lead to different body types.

Studies on controlling fat production, obesity, and diabetes are considered very important. With 60 percent of Americans are now overweight or obese, such studies are seen as lifesavers, literally.

In the US,  obesity is a major factor that causes the current epidemic of type 2 diabetes. It is said that type 2 diabetes affects more than 20 million people in the U.S. alone.