The foods, under development at the Clore Laboratory at the University of Buckingham, will be supplemented with leptin, the hunger hormone. Those who take the foods early in life should remain permanently slim. ‘Like those people who are lean by nature even though they overeat ? like we all do – they will tend to be inefficient in terms of using energy,’ says Mike Cawthorne, who heads the Metabolic Research group at Clore.
Cawthorne’s group has already demonstrated that supplementing infant rats’ diets with leptin means that they never get fat or develop diabetes (AM J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00676.2006). Even animals fed a high-fat diet remained slim.
Leptin, the fat hormone that turns off hunger in the brain, is produced in the body throughout life. Its discovery was heralded as a major breakthrough, but research in adults proved disappointing because individuals soon seemed to resist its hunger-quenching effect.
But Cawthorne says this time things are different. Providing leptin earlier enough effectively hard-wires the body’s energy balance. In fact, whether one is fat or thin may be determined before birth. Feeding the hormone to pregnant rats has been found to have a lifelong impact on their offspring’s predisposition to obesity. Animals born of leptin-treated mothers remain lean even when fed a fat-laden diet, while those from untreated dams gained weight and developed diabetes.
The difference boils down to energy expenditure. The offspring of leptin-treated mothers burn up more energy. ‘The infants are permanently inefficient in terms of using energy,’ says Cawthorne.
Leptin-based products may also find their way into the pet obesity market.
Edinburgh researcher Jonathan Seckl says. ‘We need to know whether leptin is acting pre- and post-natally, figure out how it works, and dissect the possible side-effects before this becomes a potential approach for humans. Nonetheless, this is good science,’ he says.
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy