The mechanism controlling the body's "fat switch" has been discovered by scientists. This sheds new light on how proteins regulate appetite and insulin secretion.
Victor Zammit and his team of researchers at the Warwick Medical School found that an enzyme known as "Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A" (CPT1) has a switch, which is thrown depending on the composition and curvature of its cellular membrane.
CPT1 is the key protein that regulates fatty acid oxidation in the liver and is critical for metabolism. Its activity determines whether individuals suffer from fatty liver in one extreme or ketosis in the other.
"We are making great inroads to understanding the science behind our metabolism and how at cellular level it changes according to the influence of different factors - be they nutritional or hormonal," he added.
The study has been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.