A diet high in a certain type of fat may actually increase metabolism, according to recent research by Texas Tech University nutrition scientists.
After studying genetically modified mice, the discovery could lead to supplements and a diet regimen that will increase metabolism and decrease muscle fatigue in humans…
Chad Paton, an assistant professor of nutritional biochemistry at Texas Tech…said he and colleagues were curious why skeletal muscles of obese people contained a certain type of enzyme that breaks down saturated fats.
To test what that enzyme did, Paton’s lab and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin – Madison genetically modified mice so that their muscles would constantly produce the enzyme.
“We used a transgenic mouse model, and we took the gene that makes the enzyme that’s not normally expressed and took away it’s regulation to make it active all the time,” Paton said. “What we found in those animals is they had a hypermetabolic rate compared to the wild mice, increased energy consumption and greatly increased these animals’ exercise capacity.”
The enzyme, called SCD1, converts saturated fat into monounsaturated fat, which is easier to metabolize. The liver will produce this enzyme depending on the fat content of the food consumed, he said. Fatty adipose tissue produces it all the time as a way of regulating itself.
Only in heavily exercised muscle tissue or in the case of obesity does skeletal muscle produce the enzyme, he said.