Obesity

Can Inhibiting Autophagy Process Treat Obesity?

Catabolism is a process in our body in which larger molecules are broken down into smaller ones resulting in release of energy.  Autophagy is one such catabolic process where nutrients are relocated from unnecessary processes to more-essential processes in starving cells.  Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found that inhibiting the autophagy process can possibly treat obesity. Results of their findings were published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. This article tries to gain further insight on this topic.

How Autophagy may lead to weight loss:

  • There are two types of fat cells or tissue that exist.  These include white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT).   WAT is the predominant type and is associated with storage of energy in the form of fat for latter use while BAT help to regulate body temperature.
  • The present research study found that in the experimental mice, in which this autophagy process did not take place properly, there were less number of white fat cells and more brown fat cells.
  • These mice were found to be leaner in comparison to the mice that had more white fat cells in their body.
  • The researchers believe that this process has an important role in determining the type of fat cell to be formed.
  • This suggests that manipulating or inhibiting this process can convert into fat cells into less white fat cells and more brown fat cells in order to treat obesity.

 

Research on the autophagy process is only beginning and much more knowledge needs to be gained on the mechanisms involved before any positive conclusions can be made.  Not only is inhibiting autophagy being studies for the effects of weight loss but also in the treatment of breast cancer.  Stay tuned!

References

By Inhibiting The Cellular Process of Autophagy in Mice Makes It More Modern:
http://scienceray.com/physics/by-inhibiting-the-cellular-process-of-autophagy-in-mice-makes-it-more-modern/

Patent application title: INHIBITING OBESITY PROGRESSION BY INHIBITING ADIPOCYTE DIFFERENTIATION WITH A PRE-ADIPOCYTE AUTOPHAGY INHIBITOR:
http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20110244059

Starvation might be the answer to treat breast cancer:
http://betastuffs.blogspot.com/2011/10/starvation-might-be-answer-to-treat.html

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