Friday, September 24, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Chili peppers may help fight fat
According to boffins, capsaicin, the stuff that gives chili peppers their kick, may cause weight loss and fight fat buildup by triggering certain beneficial protein changes in the body.
The study, which could lead to new treatments for obesity, appears in ACS' monthly Journal ofProteome Research .
Jong Won Yun and colleagues point out that obesity is a major public health threat worldwide, linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems. Laboratory studies have hinted that capsaicin may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering fat levels in the blood. Nobody, however, knows exactly how capsaicin might trigger such beneficial effects.
In an effort to find out, the scientists fed high-fat diets with or without capsaicin to lab rats used to study obesity. The capsaicin-treated rats lost 8 percent of their body weight and showed changes in levels of at least 20 key proteins found in fat. The altered proteins work to break down fats.
"These changes provide valuable new molecular insights into the mechanism of the antiobesity effects of capsaicin," the scientists say.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
How sugar 'feeds'cancer
Gaining fresh insights into the notion that sugar "feeds" cancer, researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah may have moved a step closer to realising potential treatments to stop tumour growth.
"It's been known since 1923 that tumour cells use a lot more glucose than normal cells. Our research helps show how this process takes place, and how it might be stopped to control tumour growth," says Dr. Don Ayer, a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah.
The researchers point out that during both normal and cancerous cell growth, a cellular process takes place that involves both glucose (sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid).
Glucose and glutamine are both essential for cell growth, they say.
While it was long assumed they operated independently, Ayer's research shows they are inter-dependent.
He has found that glucose utilization is stopped when glutamine availability is restricted.
"Essentially, if you don't have glutamine, the cell is short circuited due to a lack of glucose, which halts the growth of the tumour cell" he says.
Dr. Mohan Kaadige, a postdoctoral fellow in Ayer's lab, focused on a protein called MondoA, responsible for turning genes on and off, during the study.
In the presence of glutamine, MondoA blocks the expression of a gene called TXNIP. TXNIP is thought to be a tumour suppressor, but when it's blocked by MondoA , it allows cells to take up glucose, which in turn drives tumor growth.
Ayer believes that his team's work may lead to new drugs that would target glutamine utilization, or target MondoA or TXNIP.
He says that the next step in his research is to develop animal models to test his ideas about how MondoA and TXNIP control cell growth.
"If we can understand that, we can break the cycle of glucose utilization which could be beneficial in the treatment of cancer," he says.
A research article describing the study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Weight loss pill reduces 25% fat in a week
Scientists in the U.S. have created an anti-obesity pill that could dramatically reduce weight in a week. Tests on mice have shown that the drug could decreasebody weight by a quarter and their fat content by 42% after seven days. After a month, the weight of the mice had been reduced by 28% and their fat mass by 63%. The researchers say further research is needed before the drug is tested on humans. However, they say the results point to a new approach for the treatment of obesity and adult-onset diabetes.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009