Gene Therapy May Yield ‘Magic’ Weight Loss Pill

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Gene Therapy May Yield ‘Magic’ Weight Loss Pill

In the War on Obesity, the only weapons are a healthy diet and active lifestyle – plus bariatric surgery as a weapon of last resort.

What’s needed is a secret weapon – a magic weight loss pill that would allow people to eat whatever they want without putting on weight. But that’s impossible, right?

Maybe not.  Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley say that MGAT2 – a gene found in mice and humans – produces an intestinal enzyme that causes the body to store fat instead of burning it. In their experiments, mice with the MGAT2 gene were fed a high fat diet and got fat; mice without MGAT2 were fed the same diet and stayed slim.

If the same holds true for humans, scientists could theoretically create a pill that “turns off” MGAT2 in people – and the “magic” weight loss pill could become a reality in the fight against obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

But don’t break out the donuts just yet. Even with a weight loss pill, we’d still have to eat a healthy diet –those donuts are pretty much empty calories. And exercise is important for all sorts of health reasons.

Yes, research will continue, but, unfortunately, today there is no secret weapon in the war on obesity.

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