Eating too much oil and too sweet food can easily make people gain weight, but how easy is it to “keep your mouth shut”? How can you enjoy delicious food with confidence and stay healthy at the same time? New animal experiments conducted by German researchers uncover a weight loss switch. “Switching off” a protein that regulates lipid metabolism allows mice to eat more and avoid gaining weight.
Researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute and other institutions found that when mice become obese through a high-fat diet, ceramide molecules of a specific length accumulate in the liver, and this lipid substance is produced by ceramide synthase 5 and ceramide synthase 6 protein synthesis. Ceramide is an intermediate metabolite of sphingolipids and plays an important role in biosynthesis. It can promote cell metabolism.
Experiments have shown that if ceramide synthase 6 is “turned off” so that it cannot function, although obese mice continue to eat a high-fat diet, there is no fat accumulation in the liver, weight loss, and glucose metabolism in the body is also improved; but “turning off” Ceramide synthase 5 does not have the above effects.
Further research found that ceramide synthase 6 is responsible for regulating ceramide levels in mitochondria. Mitochondria are the cell’s energy source. Researchers speculate that a high-fat and high-sugar diet can easily lead to obesity, which may be caused by the accumulation of ceramide synthesized by ceramide synthase 6 in mitochondria and long-term inhibition of mitochondrial function.
The researchers say a similar mechanism may also apply to humans, but it remains to be studied specifically. The above research results have been published in the American magazine “Cell”.