Cutting these 2 things from diet may help treat obesity, protect muscle mass

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In a new study, researchers provided a new understanding of the roles two essential amino acids play in metabolic health, which may help scientists in the fight against obesity.

They found that by reducing the amount of two amino acids—threonine and tryptophan—in young healthy mice, they were able to burn more calories than they consumed, without calorie reduction, keeping them lean and healthy and without the side-effect of lower muscle mass.

A low-threonine diet even protected mice that were morbidly obese and prone to developing type 2 diabetes.

The research was conducted by a team at Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) and elsewhere.

While a moderate reduction in dietary protein and therefore essential amino acids can enhance vitality, diets devoid of this component can make people sick very quickly and are not recommended.

However, this study has shown that a reconsideration of the functions of these two amino acids in nutrition warrants further exploration.

A highlight of the study was an experiment where the team genetically manipulated the mice to be able to synthesize the essential amino acid threonine, which blocked the health-promoting effects of the low threonine diet and saw the mice gain weight, proving that these two amino acids can hold the key to a new diet approach.

The team says they are finding an increasing number of situations in which essential amino acids are powerful modulators of lifelong health and lifespan.

These findings on their specific effects give people exciting insights into how we might harness their benefits to drive better health.

They can help understand how critical the balance of dietary amino acids is to the control of appetite, health, and aging.

The lead author of the study is Dr. Adam Rose.

The study is published in Nature Communications.

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