NPGL, a recently discovered protein involved in brain signalling, has been found to increase fat storage by the body – even when on a low-calorie diet.
NPGL was recently discovered by Hiroshima University’s Professor Kazuyoshi Ukena in chickens. He found that NPGL caused the chickens to grow larger no matter what diet they were fed. He has also found NPGL in mice and in humans.
Experiments were carried out next on rats. Researchers infected the rats with a virus that increased the production of NPGL in the brain. The rats were separated into two groups: one group fed a low calorie diet and one group fed a high calorie diet which was high in sugar and fat. Both groups significantly increased their body fat composition. The rats fed a high calorie diet also significantly increased their food intake and increased their body mass.
Next, the rats on the high calories, fat and sugar, diet were given antibodies that reduced the production of NPGL in the brain. The rats reduced the fat composition of the body even though their food intake remained the same.
It seems clear that NPGL plays a major factor in body fat composition and excess food consumption, especially on subjects consuming a high calorie diet. While more animal studies need to be done, human trials that regulate NPGL in the brain are not far away.
Animals and Humans are Different
How significant these findings will be for humans remains to be seen. There are major differences between the options available to animals and humans.
Animals, after all, eat what they are feed. They cannot go to the grocery store to select the foods they want to eat. Humans, on the other hand, can plan their meals and choose foods that are either high in fat and sugars or more healthful foods that are lower in calories.
Animals may be provided with an exercise wheel they can run on to work off some calories. Humans can choose aerobic exercises to work off some calories, strength training exercises to build muscle that consumes energy even at rest, or they can choose to sit on a couch with no exercise and simply let the calories accumulate.
Nonetheless, in the future you can expect to see pharmaceutical drugs and supplements that promise to control NPGL to help you lose fat and look better.
Read more at Nutrition Research News — ScienceDaily