Beer belly blocker?

No `cure' yet, but scientists find enzyme linked to causing paunch

Dec 7, 2001 - Boston scientists have found information that could lead to a way to reduce the tendency of fat cells to cluster around the abdomen and form a beer belly.


Reserachers at Beth Israel Deconess Medical Center identified a specific enzyme that trigger such activity, and mice that excessive amounts of the enzyme develop beer bellies. If drug companies can create medication to turn off the enzyme then it would help men reduce their paunch.

The benefits go beyond making mean look better. The kind of fat that sticks around the abdomen, creating a beer belly, is the kind most associated with a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain forms of cancer, researchers say.

"Hundreds of studies have led to the conclusion that any fat can be problematic, but it's much, much more dangerous when it's accumulated in the abdomen," said Dr. Jeffrey Flier. Flier is the chief author of the study that appears in Science magazine.

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