Saturday January 25, 2020

Researchers Find a New Mechanism to Prevent Obesity

New mechanism may safely prevent, reverse obesity

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Obesity
Stopping the obesity epidemic could be a critical aid in preventing and treating numerous cancers. Pixabay

Obesity, a global epidemic, is a known contributor to several cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic and in major breakthrough, researchers have discovered that a receptor found in almost all cells, called AHR, and known primarily to combat exposures to environmental chemicals, also plays a big role in the body’s metabolism.

Stopping the obesity epidemic could be a critical aid in preventing and treating numerous cancers and study, published in the journal International Journal of Obesity have found a critical target in this cause.

“We carried out experiments showing that when a drug named NF and known to block the AHR, was added to a high-fat diet, mice did not become any fatter than mice on a low-fat control diet,” said study researcher Craig Tomlinson from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Centre in the US.

“Mice on the high-fat diet with no NF became very obese within the same time span. No ill effects were observed from the drug,” Tomlinson added. According to the study, the research team then asked whether blocking the AHR with NF could not only prevent obesity but reverse it.

Obesity
Obesity is a known contributor to several cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic. Pixabay

“In these experiments, we allowed the mice to become obese on a high-fat diet, and then half the mice were switched to the high-fat diet containing the AHR blocker NF,” Tomlinson said.

Over the next few weeks, the mice switched to the high-fat diet containing NF dropped to the same body weight as those mice on the low-fat diet.

The remaining mice on the high-fat diet became obese. No ill effects were observed, the researchers said. The research team investigated the mechanisms behind how the AHR, when blocked by NF, prevented and reversed obesity.

Using previous knowledge that the AHR regulates key genes in fat metabolism, the team discovered that in liver cells and in fat cells, the AHR, when blocked by NF, fails to induce several key genes required for fat storage and synthesis.

They concluded that the prevention and reversal of obesity from blocking the activity of the AHR is due to key genes regulated by the AHR that are involved in fat metabolism.

“Few to no studies have shown that obesity can be reversed by a drug treatment; it is even rarer to know the underlying cellular mechanism,” Tomlinson noted.

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The research team has begun investigating several key questions, including those around the dietary compounds in the food we eat that activate the AHR to cause weight gain , and the role that gut bacterial play regarding the AHR. Most importantly, they have initiated a clinical trial to determine whether the AHR may serve as a therapeutic target to reduce obesity in humans. (IANS)

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Top Tips to Personalize Your Fitness Routine

Find a personalised exercise routine for your body

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Fitness
With so many options available in the fitness space, finding the one right for you can be a task. Pixabay

With so many options available in the health, lifestyle fitness space, finding the one right for you can be a task.

Amaresh Ojha, CEO and Founder, Gympik shares his top tips.

1. Assess your fitness level- To assess your fitness progress, calculating the number of beats of your resting heart rate (RHR) is a beneficial way. The RHR should reduce as your fitness improves.

To calculate your RHR, place two fingers on your wrist (radial artery), and then count the number of heart beats you feel in a period of 60 seconds. Make sure to count the first beat as ezero’.

More than 101 is unusually high and not good. Between 81 and 100 is high, but acceptable, between 61 and 80 is average and 60 or less is good.

Fitness
Assessing your fitness level can be very helpful. Pixabay

2. Choose what form of exercise works best for you- While any type of physical activity is beneficial for you, different physical activities present different results.

Yoga is a discipline that focuses on breathing methods, meditation, and physical postures. It has a low-impact structure and hence is gentler on the joints. Yoga helps in improving muscle endurance, flexibility and body balance.

Zumba is an amalgamation of both fast and slow dancing, so it works on your whole body, helping you to lose weight and tone every muscle group, predominantly your back and abdominals. It also improves your posture, balance and flexibility. So, if you wish to develop a flamboyant body shape along with enhancing your dance moves, Zumba will be the right choice for you. One concern with this exercise form is that the best result for Zumba comes while working out in groups, so you will have to join a Zumba class to get the best out of this exercise form.

Pilates is largely focused with core strength. It improves muscle tone and strength along with obtaining a leaner look. This exercise form promotes balanced muscle development, flexibility and helps you in gaining a beautiful posture. Hence, the gateway to a graceful personality is through regular Pilates workout. One disadvantage of this type of exercise form is that it misses out on cardio, so it’s not very effective for steady weight loss.

Walking is one of the best exercises that must be an integral part of your fitness schedule. Regular brisk walk can help in preventing heart diseases and managing high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes along with improving the mood. No matter how many hours you spend in the gym, walking is the best way to lose weight and stay healthy. This is one of the exercise forms that can be practised by all.

Cycling is an activity that is gentle on the joints. It burns fat and improves your cardiovascular health. If you wish to increase your stamina and at the same time tone up your muscles, cycling is the best way of doing so. You can easily make it a part of your routine by building it in your day as a means of transport.

Fitness
Consult with your doctor before incorporating a fitness routine in your lifestyle. Pixabay

3. E-Fitness learning platforms can help you analyse the pros and cons of any form of exercise and you can choose the correct type of exercise for yourself once you know the benefits of each type. There are several E-Fitness channels that you can subscribe to and work with a virtual instructor, who will guide you through your fitness journey.

4. Exercise safe and focus on the health concerns. Pre-exercise screening will help you to identify any medical conditions that may put you at a higher risk of enduring a health issue during physical activity. Consult with your doctor before incorporating a fitness routine in your lifestyle. Certain exercises like running on the treadmill, sprinting, heavy weightlifting etc. can prove injurious for heart patients. Similarly, certain breathing exercises in Yoga can prove harmful for asthmatic patients.

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While there are several options available, the most important thing to keep in mind is to choose an exercise that you find fun and can stick to for the long haul. Choose from your preferences and make your exercise time fun. Do you wish to spend time indoors or outdoors? Alone or with friends/people?

If you choose an activity that seems like a burden after some time, you are more likely to abandon a healthy lifestyle. (IANS)