Researchers at York University announced that they have identified a protein that can effectively monitor appetite and blood sugar, raising hopes that the finding can be used to keep both obesity and diabetes in check.
The researchers, led by Suraj Unniappan, who is an associate professor in York's Department of Biology, Faculty of Science & Engineering, said that the protein, known as nesfatin-1 is present in large quantities in brain and can have a positive metabolic effect on the body. The report has been published in the Journal of Endocrinology.
The researchers found that the rats that had been injected by the protein ate less and instead made more use of stored fat in order to remain active. The protein was also found to be responsible for increase secretion of insulin leading to hopes that it can be used to control diabetes.
"The rats actually ate more frequently but in lesser amounts. In addition, they were more active and we found that their fatty acid oxidization was increased. In other words, the energy reserve being preferably used during nesfatin-1 treatment was fat. This suggests more fat loss, which could eventually result in body weight loss", Unniappan said.