Archive for February, 2013

“Do I Look Fat In These Genes?”

February 3, 2013

This is an excerpt from the book, “Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever by Ray Kurzweil and Terrry Grossman MD about the intriguing possibility of gene therapy for fat loss.

 “Our genes are essentially little software programs, and they evolved when conditions were very different than they are today. Take, for example, the fat insulin receptor gene, which essentially says ‘hold on to every calorie because the next hunting season may not work out so well.’ That gene made a lot of sense tens of thousands of years ago, at a time when food was almost always in short supply and there were no refrigerators. In those days, famines were common and starvation was a real possibility, so it was a good idea to store as many as possible of the calories you could find in your body’s fat cells.

 

“Today, the fat insulin receptor gene underlies an epidemic of weight prob­lems, with two of three American adults now overweight and one in three obese. What would happen if we suddenly turned off this gene in the fat cells? Scientists actually performed this experiment on mice at the Joslin Diabetes Center. The animals whose fat insulin receptor gene was turned off ate as much as they wanted yet remained slim. And it wasn’t an unhealthy slimness. They didn’t get diabetes or heart disease, and they lived and remained healthy about 20 percent longer than the control mice, which still had their fat insulin receptor gene working. The experimental mice experienced the health benefits of caloric restriction — the only laboratory-proven method of life extension — while doing just the opposite and eating as much as they wanted. Several pharmaceutical companies are now rushing to bring these concepts to the human market.”

 

Author: Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, MD   

Title: Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever

Publisher: Rodale Inc

Date: Copyright 2009 by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman

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