It is possible to eliminate excess weight by inhibiting a single gene, according to the work of an international team of scientists led by the University of Flinders (Australia).
In their study, researchers removed the RCAN1 gene in mice, known as calcineurin regulator 1. When exposed to a high-fat diet, rodents did not gain weight because their metabolic rate increased throughout the body.
"The experiment suggests that inhibiting a single gene could help fight obesity and the associated metabolic disorders, allowing people to eat anything they want without getting fat," says an article published on the Gen. Portal.
Now scientists plan to develop a drug that can inhibit RCAN1 in humans to increase caloric burn and reduce fat storage in the body.
"We know that many people find it difficult to lose weight or even control their weight for different reasons," said Professor Damien Keatingel, the principal investigator at work. "The results could mean the development of a pill designed to inhibit the function of RCAN1 that can cause weight loss," he added.
According to his team at work, gene suppression could solve the problem of the "growing obesity epidemic". However, in evolutionary terms, the processes in our body that are responsible for hindering energy expenditure have been designed so that we can survive in difficult conditions of food shortages, for example in times of war or famine.