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Weight loss breakthroughs

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Scientists stop mice fed burgers, chips, pizzas everyday from getting fat
Hormone injection, blackcurrant could help people lose 10 kilos in four week

It may sound like fantasy – but you could soon eat burgers, chips and pizzas every day without getting fat.

For scientists have defied biology and uncovered a way to stop mice on a junk-food heavy diet from becoming obese.

Danish researchers claimed it was ‘impossible’ for the rodents to put on weight by deleting a certain enzyme in their fat.

In preliminary trials, mice were fed a diet that ‘more or less’ corresponds to eating burgers and pizza for 12 weeks.

Experts now hope to use the findings to tackle the growing obesity crisis, which has been branded a ‘disturbing global public health crisis’.

But the new study offers hope of finding a way to combat bulging waistlines. Figures suggest nearly a third of the world’s population are overweight.

Copenhagen University researchers genetically deleted the NAMPT enzyme in the fat tissue of mice. They were compared to ‘normal’ mice.

An analysis of both sets of mice following a healthier, lower-fat diet revealed there was no difference in their body weight after 12 weeks.

But when fed high-fat food, the ‘normal’ mice became very obese. The experimental mice gained no more weight than they did in the other diet.

In addition, the mice lacking NAMPT maintained better control of blood glucose than normal mice when eating high-fat food.

Karen Nørgaard Nielsen, lead author, said: “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,” the PhD student added.

The findings were published in the journal Molecular Metabolism.

The ‘ultimate goal’ was to use the results to develop treatments for managing obesity and stop it spiralling out of control, she added.

Health effects of Western diets have been linked to things such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, colorectal cancer and dementia.

The findings back-up an array of human trials, which have shown a consistent link between high levels of the enzyme and obesity.

However, the researchers claimed this is the first evidence that a lack of NAMPT in fat tissue can ‘fully protect’ against obesity.

The study challenges the general view of NAMPT, largely seen as an enzyme that should be boosted for therapeutic purposes.

Also, hormone injection could help people lose 10 kilos in four week

The jab mimics the effects of a gastric band and the breakthrough is being hailed as “the most exciting” obesity treatment yet.

Experts at Imperial College London are currently completing human trials – but have so far found patients naturally ate 30 per cent less food after being given the injection.

The injection was so successful in some patients with diabetes that they were able to come off their medication, according to scientists.

Research involved 20 patients who took three hormones through a patch and a pump for 28 days.

Each participant lost between 4lb and 1st 5lb – making the treatment almost as effective as a weight loss operation. Prof. Sir Steve Bloom, who lead the research and is Imperial’s head of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism is hopeful the therapy will be available within five years as a painless monthly injection.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “It is going to be the most exciting agent for improving health that has yet been discovered.”

It was initially believed that gastric band surgery worked by reducing the amount of food held in the stomach.

But patients were found to have elevated levels of satiety hormones and preferred to eat less-fatty foods, suggesting it also altered cravings.
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The new injection reproduces those hormones to mirror that effect – without the need for an operation.

Prof Tricia Tan, who formulated the hormones, explained: “While wearing the pump, you feel less hungry and you stop eating earlier.

“The sensation is like after you have eaten a big meal and you feel really full. What is even more exciting is that we are able to normalise blood sugar levels and they can come off diabetes medications.”

Also, scientists say they have discovered a two-a-day supplement that burns as much fat as a month of regular exercise.

The blackcurrant extract vitamin reportedly increases fat burning by an average of 27 per cent – with one participant reporting a 55 per cent increase.

The CurraNZ supplement is made from New Zealand blackcurrents and costs just £21.75 for a pack of 30 tablets.

The berries contain polyphenol nutrients – which encourage fat burning by maximising blood flow.

Study author Dr Sam Sheperd, from Liverpool John Moores University said: “Seven days is not a very long time to see such big changes.

“Anything above 20 per cent is typically what we expect to see with three-to-four weeks of regular endurance exercise training.

“It was positive to see that the effects of blackcurrants on fat burning extend to females, especially since women already have a greater reliance on fat as a fuel compared to men.”

Professor Mark Willems, from the University of Chichester, added: “It is great to know that there are now observations of enhanced exercise-induced fat oxidation by New Zealand blackcurrant extract in endurance trained women and men.

“These high-impact findings reinforce the unprecedented effect blackcurrant is having on fat oxidation, which is an exciting development in unlocking the potential of New Zealand blackcurrant extract for all from athletes to unhealthy people.”


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