Don’t drop your diet yet, but scientists have discovered how CRISPR can burn fat

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A personalized therapy for metabolic conditions that are linked to obesity could involve removing a small amount of a person’s fat, transforming it into an energy-burning variation using CRISPR gene-editing, and then re-implanting it into the body, according to researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

In tests involving mice, the implanted human fat cells helped lower sugar concentrations in the blood and decrease fat in the liver. When the mice were put on a high-fat diet, the ones that had been implanted with the human beige fat only gained half as much weight as those that had been implanted with regular human fat.

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Body fat transformed by CRISPR gene editing helps mice keep weight off

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A 3D illustration of brown fat cells, which both burn and store energy

 White fat cells can be turned into energy-burning brown fat using CRISPR gene-editing technology. These engineered cells have helped mice avoid weight gain and diabetes when on a high-fat diet, and could eventually be used to treat obesity-related disorders, say the researchers behind the work.

Human adults have plenty of white fat, the cells filled with lipid that make up fatty deposits. But we have much smaller reserves of brown fat cells, which burn energy as well as storing it. People typically lose brown fat as they age or put on weight. While brown fat seems to be stimulated when we are exposed to cold temperatures, there are no established methods of building up brown fat in the body.

Yu-Hua Tseng at Harvard University and her colleagues have developed a workaround. The researchers have used the CRISPR gene-editing tool to give human white fat cells the properties of brown fat.

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New research uncovers compelling link between gut bacteria, obesity and the immune system

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Researchers have discovered the immune system can directly alter populations of certain bacteria in the gut that affect how dietary fats are absorbed

An impressive new study from scientists at the University of Utah has described how an impaired immune system can alter the composition of the gut microbiome resulting in metabolic disease and obesity. Demonstrated in mouse experiments, the research suggests certain species of gut bacteria can prevent the gut from absorbing fat, pointing to exciting potential future anti-obesity therapies.

The research originated from an unexpected observation. Ongoing experiments in mice engineered to lack a gene called MyD88 surprisingly resulted in the animals gaining significant amounts of weight. The specific gene was being studied for its relationship to immune function in the gut. It was discovered that suppressing this gene resulted in lower production of immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies in the gut, but the real mystery was how this gut-related immune mechanism resulted in metabolic disease and obesity.

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It’s not just salt, sugar, fat: Study finds ultra-processed foods drive weight gain

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An example of one of the study’s ultra-processed lunches consists of quesadillas,
refried beans and diet lemonade. Participants on this diet ate an average of 508 calories
more per day and gained an average of 2 pounds over two weeks.

Over the past 70 years, ultra-processed foods have come to dominate the U.S. diet. These are foods made from cheap industrial ingredients and engineered to be super-tasty and generally high in fat, sugar and salt.

The rise of ultra-processed foods has coincided with growing rates of obesity, leading many to suspect that they’ve played a big role in our growing waistlines. But is it something about the highly processed nature of these foods itself that drives people to overeat? A new study suggests the answer is yes.

The study, conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, is the first randomized, controlled trial to show that eating a diet made up of ultra-processed foods actually drives people to overeat and gain weight compared with a diet made up of whole or minimally processed foods. Study participants on the ultra-processed diet ate an average of 508 calories more per day and ended up gaining an average of 2 pounds over a two-week period. People on the unprocessed diet, meanwhile, ended up losing about 2 pounds on average over a two-week period.

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50 U.S. States ranked by how fat their people are, according to scientific data (There are some big surprises)

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Sorry, Mississippi.

A new study ranks all 50 states plus the District of Columbia by how fat their residents are. And there are some real surprises.

Across the United States, a staggering 70 percent of people are either overweight or obese. It’s part of what drives the $66 billion weight loss industry, which is always a good target for entrepreneurs.

But it also adds $200 billion a year to our nation’s health costs.

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Artificial sweeteners have been linked to obesity: Study

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Sugar substitutes might be exacerbating metabolic disease.

Artificial sweeteners have widely been seen as a way to combat obesity and diabetes, but according to a new study, the sugar substitutes could, in part, be contributing to the global epidemic of these conditions.

 

 

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Obesity rates soar in developing countries

Fat consumption remains a concern among developing countries.

The extent of the obesity epidemic worldwide has been thrown into stark reality as a report from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) puts the number of overweight and obese adults in developing countries at more than 900 million.

 

 

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Average American male body compared to other countries

Todd, the average American man.

Todd is a typical American man. His proportions are based on averages from CDC anthropometric data. As a U.S. male age 30 to 39, his body mass index (BMI) is 29; just one shy of the medical definition of obese. At five-feet-nine-inches tall, his waist is 39 inches.

 

 

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One in five American deaths linked to obesity, three times higher than previous estimates

Younger generations have been exposed longer to risk factors for obesity.

A new report reveals that the number of deaths caused by obesity in the United States has been vastly underestimated by researchers. Obesity accounts for 18 percent of deaths among black and white Americans between the ages of 40 and 85, according to the study published online Aug. 15 in the American Journal of Public Health. Previous estimates had placed obesity-related deaths at only 5 percent of all U.S. deaths.

 

 

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