An 'obesity pill' that can block the effects of high sugar and high fat diets could be closer to reality after a new study published in The FASEB Journal reported on the discover of an inflammatory protein called PAR2 found in the abdominal fat tissue of overweight and obese humans and rats.
This protein is also increased on the surfaces of human immune cells by common fatty acids in the diet. When obese rats on a diet high in sugar and fat were given a new oral drug that binds to PAR2, the inflammation-causing properties of this protein were blocked, as were other effects of the high-fat and high-sugar diet--including obesity itself.
"This important new finding links obesity and high fat high sugar diets with changes in immune cells and inflammatory status, highlighting an emerging realization that obesity is an inflammatory disease," said David P. Fairlie, Ph.D., study author from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland, in Bribane, Australia. "Drugs designed to block certain inflammatory proteins, as in this report, may be able to prevent and treat obesity, which in turn is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, limb amputation, and cancers."
"We know that that eating too much and not exercising enough makes you overweight, and then obese, but why? The bottom line of this report is that obesity is an inflammatory disease, and inflammation plays a greater role in the downward spiral to obesity than most people realize." said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "It appears that once we can control the inflammation, we can begin to get everything else in line. Fortunately, these scientists have already identified one promising compound that seems to work."