A protein could be crucial to the future treatment of conditions such as diabetes and obesity, according to a new study. The protein, called nesfatin-1, could help people with type 2 diabetes to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar in the body, as well as lower the appetite.
The laboratory research, which was published in the Journal of Endocrinology, showed that the protein was abundant in the brain, and that rats given nesfatin-1 consumed less food, used up greater amounts of stored fat and were also more active. The protein was also seen to stimulate insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta cells of both rats and mice.
Suraj Unniappa, an associate professor in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Engineering at York University in the United States, pointed out that the rats used in the study “actually ate more frequently but in lesser amounts. In addition, they were more active and we found that their fatty acid oxidization was increased. In other words, the energy reserve being preferably used during nesfatin-1 treatment was fat.”
He added “This suggests more fat loss, which could eventually result in body weight loss.”
It is hoped that the breakthrough could lead to new hormone-based treatments that can suppress both body weight and blood sugar.

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