29 April 2008

Lose weight without dieting and at the same time reduce blood pressure?

Researchers from the Australian Howard Florey Institute have discovered a new way to combat overweight and obesity. According to them, the "shutdown" of a well-studied enzyme helps to reduce the volume of fat deposits and reduces the risk of diabetes. 

The angiotensin converting enzyme in question in the study is responsible for the activation of angiotensin, a substance that contributes to the narrowing of the lumen of blood vessels and an increase in blood pressure. From previous studies, scientists knew that ACE is active in adipose tissue cells and can contribute to the accumulation of fat deposits.

To test this hypothesis, the scientists bred mice that completely lacked the gene encoding ACE. As it turned out, the absence of an important enzyme led to a reduction in the body weight of mice by an average of 20%, and the volume of fat deposits, especially abdominal fat, decreased in them by an average of 50-60%. At the same time, they consumed the same amount of food as their ordinary counterparts. In addition, the body of genetically modified rodents absorbed glucose faster, which indicated a reduced risk of developing diabetes.

Currently, ACE blockers are widely used in medicine for the treatment of hypertension. In the future, scientists believe, these or similar drugs can be used in the treatment of obesity.

The research report is published in the journal Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences.

Source: Blood pressure drug could help you slim – New Scientist, 04/29/08

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