Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mitochondrial Protein Makes You Healthy and Fat

While some readers may be hoping for the latest diet breakthrough, researchers have now discovered an even easier way to get those calories straight from your lips to your hips.

Thus, according to a paper from Phil Scherer’s lab published in Nature Medicine, the secret ingredient is an unassuming protein that lives in your mitochondria (those crinkly looking cellular powerhouses that run your energy metabolism).

As the story goes, this protein, with the rather memorable name MitoNEET, allows your fat cells to gobble up even more fat, thereby keeping it from ruining the neighbourhood in other organs (like your liver or skeletal muscle).

Evidently, MitoNEET messes up mitochondrial iron transport thereby reducing fat-burn (ß-oxidation), which also leaves you with fewer pro-inflammatory oxygen radicals and more metabolically friendly adiponectin floating around.

So, while an extra dose of MitoNEET may well make you fatter, you can rejoice in the knowledge that this fat is safely tucked away where it belongs, namely in your white fat – point being, it no longer messes with your glucose levels or clogs up your arteries – or at least this is how the story goes if you happen to be a lab mouse.

And woe to those, who lack this fat-enriching protein – they become skinny and unhealthy beings on a down-hill path to certain diabetes, heart disease, and male-pattern baldness (I made up that last one, but it’s probably true).

While anti-obesity activists may wonder about the usefulness of this research, I can certainly see a hot emerging market for MitoNEET analogues in places where beauty is measured in (extra) pounds (like Barbados).

And, if you happen to be one of those healthy obese (EOSS Stage 0) folk, it’s perhaps high time you added MitoNEET to your list of blessings.

Edmonton, Alberta
Kusminski CM, Holland WL, Sun K, Park J, Spurgin SB, Lin Y, Askew GR, Simcox JA, McClain DA, Li C, & Scherer PE (2012). MitoNEET-driven alterations in adipocyte mitochondrial activity reveal a crucial adaptive process that preserves insulin sensitivity in obesity. Nature medicine, 18 (10), 1539-49 PMID: 22961109

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Mitochondrial Protein Makes You Healthy and Fat, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

One Response to “Mitochondrial Protein Makes You Healthy and Fat”

  1. RuthieLil says:

    I so enjoy the lighter tone of voice!

Leave a Comment

In The News

Diabetics in most need of bariatric surgery, university study finds

Oct. 18, 2013 – Ottawa Citizen: "Encouraging more men to consider bariatric surgery is also important, since it's the best treatment and can stop diabetic patients from needing insulin, said Dr. Arya Sharma, chair in obesity research and management at the University of Alberta." Read article

» More news articles...


  • Subscribe via Email

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Arya Mitra Sharma
  • Disclaimer

    Postings on this blog represent the personal views of Dr. Arya M. Sharma. They are not representative of or endorsed by Alberta Health Services or the Weight Wise Program.
  • Archives


  • RSS Weighty Matters

  • Click for related posts

  • Disclaimer

    Medical information and privacy
    Any medical discussion on this page is intended to be of a general nature only. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem you should consult your own physician for advice specific to your own situation.

  • Meta

  • Obesity Links

  • If you have benefitted from the information on this site, please take a minute to donate to its maintenance.

  • Home | News | KOL | Media | Publications | Trainees | About
    Copyright 2008–2015 Dr. Arya Sharma, All rights reserved.
    Blog Widget by LinkWithin