Re-booting immune system possible: Study

The body’s immune system attacks and kills our own fat as we gainweight and can be manipulated to fight obesity and diabetes, arevolutionary new Toronto study says.

The body’s immune system attacks and kills our own fat as we gain weight and can be manipulated to fight obesity and diabetes, a revolutionary new Toronto study says.

And although this natural ability to kill fat cells is overwhelm­ed in obese people, it can be “rebooted” by a readily available medication — a process that may replace some bariatric surgeries in the near future.

In a rare, triple-threat study, published yesterday in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers also point to a likely reason obesity can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

“This really targets where the problem lies so this is very exciting to us,” says Dr. Hans-Michael Dosch, the paper’s senior author.

The immune system’s critical role in obesity and diabetes, and the likelihood it can be re-programmed to reverse these epidemic conditions, came as a “shock” to the paper’s researchers, says Dosch, a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children.

 
 
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