Slim-Fast Mice

Oh look! A piece of yummy cheese! But…could this be a trap?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Everyone wants to lose weight, scientists just as much as anyone else! And some are looking for answers by studying… mice!

At the University of Copenhagen, Karen Nørgaard [NOR-gard] Nielsen and researchers study how enzymes affect body fat.

Enzymes are made by our bodies to help speed up chemical reactions. One in particular – called NAMPT – is often found in higher levels in the blood of overweight people. Could NAMPT be speeding up fat storage?

Researchers bred mice that lacked NAMPT in their fat cells, then fed the genetically altered mice high fat diets.

And…they discovered a bit of genetic magic! Despite their high fat diet, mice WITHOUT the NAMPT enzyme stayed svelte!

These results offer a glimpse into how fat storage works. But don’t break out the brie just yet. NAMPT is an important part of the body, particularly for muscle health. Just not too much of it!

So keep eating healthy and clean! “Squeak”-y clean, that is!!