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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