A drop in the level of hormone adropin, may lead to obesity. Research in mice reveals that obese mice have low levels of the hormone. Levels go up if the animals are fed a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, however. And mice that can’t make the hormone are twice as fat as normal, suggesting adropin plays a critical role in regulating fatty acid and glucose metabolism. A recent study identifies a similar pattern in humans. The overall implication is that low levels of the hormone pose a risk factor for metabolic disorders leading to obesity, insulin resistance and type II diabetes. An estimated 47 million US adults have metabolic syndrome. Could hormone therapy present a therapeutic option for obesity? The study found that women have a lower level of adropin than men, suggesting that adropin-boosting drugs might also be popular among women seeking to lose weight.
Written by Brona McVittie
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