Research Highlights link Between Key Protein and Obesity, Appetite

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( — September 30, 2022) Orlando, FL — More than 650 million adults around the globe are found to have obesity, which is a growing public health concern. Scientists have been carrying out research studies and warning that this condition is associated with chronic diseases.

Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) carried out a study.

In this research, they were able to identify a certain protein that plays a major role in how the brain regulates appetite and metabolism.

The findings of this interesting research were published in the iScience journal. 

According to the investigators, the loss of the protein called XRN1, from the forebrain led in insatiable appetite in obese mice. 

“Fundamentally, obesity is caused by an imbalance between food intake and energy expenditure,” said Dr. Akiko Yanagiya, a researcher in the Cell Signal Unit at OIST, headed by Professor Tadashi Yamamoto. 

“But we still understand very little about how appetite or metabolism is regulated by communication between the brain and parts of the body, such as the pancreas, liver and adipose tissues.”

In this research, the researchers created mice that were unable to produce the protein, XRN1, in a subset of neurons in the forebrain. It is worth noting that such a brain region includes the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus is an almond-sized structure that works in releasing hormones into the body, helping to regulate sleep, body temperature, thirst and hunger.

At 6-weeks-old, it’s observed that mice without XRN1 in the brain rapidly started to gain weight and turned obese by 12 weeks of age. There was fat accumulation in the mice’s body, including within adipose tissue and the liver.

After monitoring feeding behavior, the researchers found that mice without XRN1 ate almost twice as much each day as the control mice.

“This finding was really surprising,” said Dr. Shohei Takaoka, a former PhD student from the OIST Cell Signal Unit. 

“When we first knocked out XRN1 in the brain, we didn’t know exactly what we would find, but this drastic increase in appetite was very unexpected.”

More studies are still being carried out to look into the impacts of obesity and how it rates can be reduced. It is important to note that weight management requires making dietary and lifestyle modifications.

Experts have been stressing the relevance of exercising regularly, in addition to adhering to a healthy diet. There are also remedies like L-Carnitine that may be helpful for weight management. 

In some studies, L-Carnitine has been found to help enhance energy levels and this is vital for exercise adherence and optimum performance. What makes this remedy even more beneficial is that it can also help the body shed extra pounds.

It is obtained widely today through the use of formulas like Divine Bounty L-Carnitine. (

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