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Researchers Report Progress in Fight Against Fat
Date:1/6/2009

he added, there's no guarantee that the drugs would have the same effect in people as in mice. Only studies with humans will resolve that issue.

In the other study, an international team of researchers sought to understand more about a genetic variation that appears to help make thin people slim and fat people obese.

About 12 percent of people have the genetic variation. According to the researchers, a study of mice suggests that people who have the variation are generally skinner than others, but their bodies can go haywire -- and pack on more pounds than they should if they eat a high-fat diet.

The researchers suggested that genetic tests might help determine if people have the variation and, if so, reveal whether they should be concerned about a high-fat diet.

"If one could tell these carriers about the importance of adhering to a healthy lifestyle, the impact would be very significant, and even prolong their lifespan," said study co-author Dr. Johan Auwerx, a professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.

The next step is to try a similar study with people, Auwerx said.

More information

For more on obesity, visit The Obesity Society.



SOURCES: Umut Ozcan, M.D., assistant professor, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School; Johan Auwerx, M.D., Ph.D., professor, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland; Jan. 7, 2009, Cell Metabolism


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