[Sciencedaily] Your stomach could be the secret to fighting obesity


Scientists believe a stomach-specific protein plays a key role in the progression of obesity, according to new research in the journal Scientific Reports. The study, co-authored by an Indiana University School of Medicine researcher, could help develop therapeutics to help people who are struggling to achieve and maintain weight loss.

The researchers focused on Gastrokine-1 (GKN1), a protein produced exclusively and abundantly in the stomach. Previous research has shown that GKN1 has resistance to digestion, allowing it to enter the gut and interact with bacteria in the gut.

In the Scientific Reports study, researchers showed that inhibiting GKN1 made a significant difference in body weight and fat levels compared to when the protein was released.

“While diet and exercise are crucial to maintaining a healthy weight, some individuals struggle with weight loss – even in the case of bariatric surgery, maintaining their weight. Weight loss can be challenging,” says David Boone, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at IU School of Medicine, assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Notre Dame and co-author of the study. rescue. “These results are an example to better understand the gut microbiome and the physiological aspects of obesity – how our bodies regulate metabolism and body fat accumulation – can help provide new therapies.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that obesity rates among adults have increased to 42.4% in the United States. In addition to increasing an individual’s risk of stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, and other health problems, obesity can also increase an individual’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Boone and his team conducted microbiome analyzes in mouse models with and without GKN1 protein expression. The researchers measured food intake, calories extracted, blood sugar, insulin levels, and triglycerides. They use magnetic resonance imaging to track body composition. The team also calculated energy consumption and observed levels of inflammation.

The models without GKN1 weighed less and had lower total body fat and a higher percentage of lean mass – despite consuming the same amount of food. When subjected to a high-fat diet, those GKN1-free models showed resistance to weight gain, increased body fat, and hepatitis, which can lead to liver disease. The researchers also found no evidence of adverse events such as cancer, diabetes, anorexia, malabsorption or inflammation – and the results were consistent in the male and female models.

While more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of GKN1 inhibition to combat obesity, the researchers say if it proves feasible, such therapies could reduce the burden on healthcare system and help improve the quality of life for patients.


Anne-Marie C. Overstreet, Bernadette E. Grayson, Antonia Boger, Danika Bakke, Erin M. Carmody, Cayla E. Bales, Shirley C. Paski, Stephen F. Murphy, Christopher R. Dethlefs, Kara J. Shannon, Katie R Adlaka, Claire E. Wolford, Vincent J. Campiti, Christina V. Raghunandan, Randy J. Seeley, David L. Boone. Gastrokine-1, an anti-amyloidogenic protein secreted by the stomach, regulates diet-induced obesity. Scientific Reports, 2021; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-88928-8

Source: Your stomach may be the secret to fighting obesity

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Translated by: thangngan2509

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