Could there be a magic pill for weight loss?
For years, people have been asking what the shortcut to weight loss is and now it would seem that science could have the answer.
A new study, published in Science journal, has found that blocking the production of a specific protein may be the key to stopping weight gain.
The study, conducted by feeding mice a high-fat diet, found that by blocking a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) the fat was unable to reach the gut.
The VEGF-A protein stimulates production of blood vessels and blocking it prevented the fat from entering the small lymphatic vessels in the gut, and therefore the fat was mostly excreted in the mice faeces.
The implication being that if it was replicated to humans, it would effectively stop lipid absorption in the body and thus prevent fat to be gained in the gut area.
The study comes at a time when obesity rates in Australia are at an all-time high with almost two in three Aussie adults being overweight or obese in a 2014-15 study done by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Founding director of The Biting Truth and dietitian Anna Debenham said, however, that a magic pill isn't the solution to lowering the obesity rate.
"It's a band-aid solution to an unhealthy diet and focusing on fats alone is not the solution. Fats aren't the only reason for our obesity epidemic," she said.
Ms Debenham said that focusing on fats was unhelpful to the basis of good nutrition as the body needs fats.
"I guess it would be interesting to see what fats they block because if they block all fats that would be disastrous because we need fats and I think the best solution is 'hey we need fats, let's just avoid unhealthy fats'," she said.
The next step for the study is to study the drugs' impact on humans and the impact of blocking lipid absorption in the human body.
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