The scientists discovered an amazing gene, that’s abilities were not previously suspected. It turns out that it can protect a person from obesity. During the quarantine period caused by the coronavirus, many people drew attention to its side effect affected the waist. Low physical activity and increased calorie intake caused significant weight gain in many people. Amazingly, only a small fraction of people can survive this difficult period without gaining weight.
The scientists from the University of British Columbia, the Medical University of Vienna and the Estonian Biobank concluded that a unique method based on the regulation of fat metabolism can be applied. It has always been based on the discovery of genes associated with obesity.
But the scientists decided to continue the search for genes that are associated with the body's resistance to gaining extra pounds. To find such genes, the experts conducted associative studies of 47 thousand people living in Estonia. They compared skinny people with people in a control group and identified a gene that became a candidate for thinness.
This is ALK, and in the world of science it is known as a participant in the development of cancerous tumors. But its physiological function remained elusive for a long time. The scientists decided to test the gene in mice.
Despite the normal food intake and increased activity, the mice remained lean and thin and weighed significantly less than their relatives, which were not protected by the inserted gene from obesity. Researcher Michael Orthofer noted that in an experiment with mice, scientists were able to observe that ALK-deficient mice exhibited increased energy expenditure.
It means that they burn more calories than regular mice, and explains why they stay thin even when they eat the same amount of food. This gene is located in a specific area of the brain called the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus.
After the gene was removed from this area, significant weight loss was observed in the test organisms. Researchers believe that this gene is indeed part of a powerful chain involved in the body's energy expenditure.