Scientists have discovered a protein that appears to mimic the benefits of weight-loss surgery without requiring an operation.
In results published Oct. 18 in Science Translational Medicine, researchers reported the effects of a bioengineered version of the naturally occurring GDF15 protein in a mouse trial. After 35 days, obese mice treated with the protein lost about 20 percent of their body weight, while mice treated with a placebo gained about 6 percent of their starting weight. The treated mice also showed significantly better insulin and cholesterol levels than those in the placebo group.
In addition, the researchers noticed mice treated with GDF15 tended to opt for standard mouse chow rather than extra-rich condensed milk—suggesting the protein caused a shift in preference away from high-fat foods.
The Los Angeles Times has more on the study here:
Bioengineered protein may shift food preference, trigger weight loss