A “skinny pill” could be on the horizon after Australian scientists uncovered the gene responsible for causing obesity and type-2 diabetes.
Researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute conducted experiments on mice, focusing on the MNK gene found in the liver, muscles and fatty tissues.
The gene was isolated and blocked in mice, which resulted in them not gaining much weight despite being fed a high-fat diet.
Mice on the same diet that did not have the gene blocked showed signs of type-2 diabetes and became overweight.
The skinny pill would act as a preventative measure, by blocking the MNK gene to stop weight gain and following on from that, the development of full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Nutrition and metabolism researcher Professor Chris Proud, the author of 250 studies, believed the MNK gene would most likely have the same effect on humans as mice.
The research will now focus on understanding why this gene has this function, how it works and to begin the process of working with drug developers.