Poor dietary habits and obesity have been linked together by countless scientific studies. Health experts have also warned against consuming excessive sugar and fat in diet, as it may lead to weight gain and a number of other health related complications. A new study has now lead to a step forward in the research related to diet and obesity by uncovering a hormonal link between the two. The researchers have found that low levels of the hormone adropin was indicative of increased weight gain and 'metabolic dysregulation' during consumption of a high sugar diet in a nonhuman primate model. The researchers are hopeful that this study will help devise new strategies for patients of metabolic syndrome.
The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and it was conducted by researchers at Saint Louis University along with scientists at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Adropin is a hormone that regulates whether the body burns glucose or fat, and in previous studies performed, it was observed that low levels of the hormone in obese mice contributed to diabetes, as well as an associated risk of a reduced glucose uptake. They have also found that men with high levels of adropin in their bodies had lower Body Mass Index (BMI). But, for the current study, the researchers looked at the plasm of 59 male rhesus monkeys that were fed a high-sugar diet.
Consumption of a diet rich in fructose was seen to lead to a 10 percent increase in body weight as well as an increase in levels of fasting insulin, indicating insulin resistance. Animals with low levels of adropin in the plasma developed a more severe metabolic syndrome and the development of type-2 diabetes was also observed only in animals with low adropin concentrations in the plasma. Andrew Butler, professor of pharmacology and physiology who discovered the peptide hormone adropin said, "Monkeys with low adropin may therefore not be oxidising glucose as well, explaining their higher fat content as the glucose is converted to lipids instead of being used as a metabolic fuel.
Last year we reported that adropin appeared to be an output of the biological clock using mouse models and cultured human cells. What we show in this paper is that expression of the ENHO gene is higher in daytime and lower at night in most primate tissues."
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