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Science | Special Features

Japanese scientists confirm fat-burning protein

The fat-burning protein GPR120.

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

OSAKA, Japan - A team of researchers of Japan's Kyoto University has found a protein that helps the body burn fat following an intake of fatty meals, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported Monday.

The researchers at the Kyoto University's Institute of Chemical Research compared mice with protein called GPR120 with those that do not have the protein, and provided them with high-fat feeds, the report said.

They confirmed that the mice without the protein were heavier than those who had it by an average of 15 percent, and accumulated twice as much fat in their bodies, it said.

The Japanese scientists also analyzed the genetic sequence of about 20,000 people in Europe, including the French and the British, and found that people with mutant GPR120 genes were 1.6 times more likely to be obese.

Based on the result of the research, the Japanese scientists concluded the protein is capable of detecting fat, and also plays a role in prompting the body to burn the fat.

Professor Gozo Tsujimoto, head of the researcher team, was quoted by NHK as saying that the development of drugs that activate the protein will help prevent obesity.

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