UCSD researchers find a way to fool mice into losing weight.
It's long been known that it can be easier for people to lose weight at higher altitudes because their bodies burn more calories to make up for a lack of oxygen.
Now, a new study out of UCSD suggests that when a protein enzyme is removed, mice breathe in less oxygen, tricking their bodies into reacting like they're at a higher altitude and increasing the amount of calories they burn.
"On the same diet that would cause a normal mouse to have its cholesterol levels to rise, it starts to get Type 2 diabetes, essentially gets very overweight," said UCSD biology professor Randall Johnson.
So far, the study has only focused on mice, but it could lead to an effective treatment for obesity and diabetes in humans. Researchers will next study the effects on humans and work around the risk of hyperventilation associated with altitude changes.