Scientists reveal key enzyme in fat absorption

Mar 16, 2009

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have found that a key enzyme involved in absorbing fat may also be a key to reducing it. The enzyme, acyl CoA: monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 or Mgat2 is found in the intestines and plays an important part in the uptake of dietary fat by catalyzing a critical step in making triglyceride, a kind of fat. Triglyceride accounts for nearly one-third of the fat eaten by people in developed countries.

Researchers in the laboratory of Robert V. Farese, Jr. MD, found that that were genetically modified to lack Mgat2 remain normal on a low-fat diet. However, when fed a high-fat diet that is similar to that eaten by many Americans, the mice do not get and do not develop other symptoms of , such as , , and fatty livers. The mice eat the same number of calories as other mice, and the calories are fully absorbed. Results of their study were published in the current issue of the journal .

"Because mice that lack this do not gain weight on a high-fat diet, it is an intriguing target for future interventions to prevent and the problems associated with that extra weight," said Dr. Farese.

The mechanism of action, the researchers identified was that the lack of Mgat2 may reduce the uptake of fat in the small intestine and delay its entry into the blood. This process may dissociate fat from carbohydrate absorption and insulin secretion and ultimately lower the amount of fat stored and used. How this happens is not clear. One possibility is that the absorbed fat is partitioned more to tissues where it is burned up.

"Differences in Mgat2 expression may contribute to the propensity of some people to gain weight from diets rich in fat," said Eric Yen, PhD, lead author of the study. "Our findings suggest that inhibiting this enzyme in the small intestine might be an effective way to treating that result from excessive fat intake."

Source: Gladstone Institutes

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DozerIAm
not rated yet Mar 16, 2009
Interesting. Most other "fat absorbtion blocking" products cause horrible side effected if you eat too much fat, since they don't allow the fat to be absorbed or digested. This one seems to have a different mechanism in that the fat is not absorbed but is digested. Sounds hinky to me, I'd like to see this study replicated. It's also concerning that the researchers don't know how this enzyme is doing what it's doing.

Overeating is behaviorally such a self rewarding behavior, and bioligically such a hard wired one (eating = survival), it would be amazing if they could come up with a safe and effective way to manage calorie absorbtion. I think chemically or medically changing one's appetite is presently impossible, at best one can manage it with specific techniques if one has the discipline. So managing absorbtion is the more efficient path to follow.

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