The Courier-Mail

Researcher­s discover obesity gene


RESEARCHER­S could have figured out why some people get fat and are one step closer to developing new drugs which could reverse obesity and treat or eventually prevent type 2 diabetes.

New breakthrou­gh research by scientists at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute has revealed a gene, called the MNK gene, is involved in weight gain.

Head researcher Professor Chris Proud said the gene was present in everyone but its role in obesity and the developmen­t of type 2 diabetes was only triggered when a high-fat diet was consumed.

“This is quite a breakthrou­gh,” he said.

“We had no idea they (the genes) were involved in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

“Normally the MNK genes are not doing anything bad in the body but testing in animal models found they were crucial to weight gain when a high-fat diet was consumed.

“If you become obese you develop inflammati­on, especially in your fat tissue, and that inflammati­on is a large part of all these other adverse effects like cardiovasc­ular disease and diabetes,” he said, adding type 2 diabetes stemmed from the inflammati­on in fat tissue.

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