Obesity is a widespread epidemic in North America: since the 1980s, the obesity rate has doubled. In Canada, 1 in 4 people are deemed clinically obese. The rise directly correlates with the intake of more refined sugars, processed foods and the growth of the fast food industry.
According to Medical Daily, obesity comes down to maintaining energy homeostasis – the balance between calorie intake and calorie burning. This is regulated by genes, proteins and enzymes in the body in addition to your diet and lifestyle. However, despite their best efforts, some people still struggle with obesity.
New research suggests that if you suppress the enzyme known as O-GLcNAc transferase (OGT), which regulates insulin and metabolism along with controlling food intake, this may create the ability to shut off the desire to eat.
The study involved injecting one group mice with a control virus, while another group was injected with a virus that inhibited their OGT function, which takes place in an area of the hypothalamus known as the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). The OGT-inhibiting mice ate double the amount of food the control mice ate. Their fat tissue was prevalent and it was only when their food intake was controlled that the OGT-mice were able to maintain a normal weight.
However, they found that when they stimulated OGT in mice afterward, the opposite effect came into place. Their food intake lowered as they craved less.
So what does this mean? This latest study, in addition to a previous study on genes and obesity may be grounds for developing a new drug that can target obesity at a basic biological level. Stimulating OGT in the body will be able to lower cravings and help a person’s impulse control. This will create the perfect situation to encourage better eating habits.
If you or a family member are suffering from obesity and you want help to start the process of making a healthy and significant change, considering reading about our bariatric surgery procedures at Clinique Michel Gagner. You can also get started by filling out our questionnaire.