Fat Absorbing Enzyme

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease have found that a key enzyme involved in absorbing fat may also be a key to reducing it. The enzyme, is found in the intestines and plays an important part in the uptake of dietary fat by catalyzing a critical step in making triglyceride, a kind of fat. Triglyceride accounts for nearly one-third of the fat eaten by people in developed countries.

Researchers found that mice that were genetically modified to lack the enzyme remain normal on a low-fat diet. However, when fed a high-fat diet that is similar to that eaten by many Americans, the mice do not get fat and do not develop other symptoms of obesity, such as glucose intolerance, hypercholesterolemia, and fatty livers. The mice eat the same number of calories as other mice, and the calories are fully absorbed. Results of their study were published in the current issue of the journal Nature Medicine .

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