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Lean Protein Could Be Key to Obesity Drugs,,

A protein that lets mice eat more but weigh less could prove the magic ingredient for diet drugs of the future.British scientists from drug giant SmithKline Beecham and the University of Cambridge have created mice with a human protein known as Uncoupling Protein 3 (UCP3) that increases their metabolism.In what is every dieter's dream, the mice were able to eat more than normal mice but still weigh less.

"Extra UCP3 increases metabolic rate. The effect it has is to increase fat combustion, so the animals are burning more fat," Dr John Clapham, of SmithKline Beecham, said."They eat more because they have a higher metabolic rate but it is true they eat more and weigh less."

Like exercise, the excess UCP3 causes the mice to burn more fat but without the pain, sweat and hard work."In a research study published in the science journal Nature, Clapham and his team showed that even though the transgenic mice ate 15-54 percent more food than normal mice, their fat-tissue mass was 44-57 percent less.The mice experienced no side effects from the increased UCP3. They had 70 percent lower cholesterol levels than normal mice and seemed to be using their insulin more efficiently."That is important to us because the majority of obese patients go on to develop Type 2 diabetes," Clapham said.

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