WA bid to unravel mystery of diabesity-limiting protein

WA researchers have begun a bid to unravel the mysteries of a protein believed to help the body limit diet-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Research Foundation of WA (DRFWA) has awarded scientists from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research a $75,000 grant to investigate the protein known as TNFSF14.

Lead researcher Vance Matthews said his team was excited about the potential for the protein to assist in tackling major lifestyle-related health issues.

“Our recent research has revealed TNFSF14 appears to work in a compensatory manner to reduce diet-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes by helping to limit weight gain, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance,” he said.

“This new phase of investigation aims to lift the lid on how it does this; if we can unlock this mystery, it could pave the way for the creation of new treatments to arrest the rising rate of diabesity worldwide.

“As none of the commonly used anti-obesity drugs have resulted in consistent and effective weight loss, there is great interest in developing alternative therapies.” Study volunteers from WA will also help researchers uncover if levels of the protein decrease after weight loss has reversed type 2 diabetes.

In WA, nearly 38 percent of adults are overweight and 1 in 4 are obese – both are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

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