Science Could Be Giving Us A Pill That Prevents Weight Gain
Soon, we might all be able to take a pill that will let you scarf down your favorite foods without gaining any weight.
SIGN. ME. UP.
According to the people over at Science Daily, this pill is meant to affect the RCAN1 gene. In a study on mice, when the gene was turned off, animals could gorge on fatty foods without gaining any calories in their body.
“We know a lot of people struggle to lose weight or even control their weight for a number of different reasons,” the study’s lead researcher Professor Damien Keating explained. “The findings in this study could mean developing a pill which would target the function of RCAN1 and may result in weight loss.”
Removing the RCAN1 both increased the mice’s metabolism and expended the calories as heat instead of storing them. This process works for the mice to not gain weight because it turns white fat (fat that’s stored) into brown fat (fat that’s burned as heat). The original findings of Keating’s study were published in EMBO Reports. “Mice deficient for RCAN1 have an elevated metabolic rate and are resistant to diet‐induced obesity,” the report said.
“Removing RCAN1 had two major effects,” Keating said. “It reduced the storage of fat in dangerous areas around the belly, for example. And then in muscle it actually [caused] muscles to burn more calories at rest.”
As of now, scientists including Keating will continue to explore options for creating a pill like this for humans, so, unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods just yet.
“The ideal would be to take some sort of pill that didn’t require you to watch your diet, that didn’t require you to exercise,” Keating said. “Now, that might seem like a pipe dream, but the findings that we have out of this mouse study at least indicate a novel pathway that we might be able to target.”