The study, put out in the September 4th issue of the journal Cell, describes that several mice ate high fat diets, while others ate low fat diets for 3-4 months. It was found that the mice without the IKKE gene on the high fat diets stayed slim. Researchers believe that removing the IKKE gene speeds up the metabolism of mice allowing them to burn more calories. The gene produces an enzyme that activates other proteins and controls and regulates metabolism.
“The knockout[IKKE geneless] mice are not exercising any more than the control mice used in the study.” Study author Alan Saltiel Director of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute said in a press release. “They’re just burning more energy, and in the process, they’re generating a little heat as well – their body temperature actually increases a bit.”
“We’ve studied other genes associated with obesity – we call them ‘obeseogenes'” Saltiel said “But this is the first one we’ve found that when deleted, stops the animal from gaining weight.”
More researched is required in order to determine if the IKKE gene is connected to weight gain in humans, however there is potential. One day we may develop an anti-obesity drug.
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