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Muscle Building and Weight Loss – Researchers find Protein that Increases Metabolism and Suppressing Appetite by Weightlifting

April 13th, 2006

Muscle Building and Weight Loss – Researchers find Protein that Increases Metabolism and Suppressing Appetite by Weightlifting


Canadian researchers have discovered a small protein that works in muscles to increase metabolism and is also able to suppress the appetite.  The protein is called ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF).  This study was first reported in the Nature Medicine journal.

Other research has focused on the leptin hormone for decreasing appetite. This research study was led by Dr. Greg Steinberg - a Target Obesity fellow funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canadian Diabetes Association and found that CNTF could be a possible treatment for obesity.

The CNTF works by activating an enzyme called skeletal muscle AMP kinase.  This process increases the body’s ability to burn fat and sugar.  The understanding of the method that CNTF works could lead to new ways to help a person with losing weight.


“While hormones such as leptin were initially thought to be the cure-all for weight loss, they were later found to be ineffective in obesity due to the presence of proteins which inhibit their ability to stimulate fat metabolism,” says Dr. Steinberg, a Canadian researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia. “Fortunately, CNTF’s effects on fat burning are maintained.”

Dr. Steinberg’s research reinforces how muscle building exercises triggers the CNTF and the AMP kinase process.  Having a mix of weightlifting exercises along with aerobics is still an excellent weight loss tool.  The study offers encouragement for a great way to lose weight without starving yourself by triggering your muscles to use energy and increase metabolism.


"The incidence of obesity in Canada has more than doubled over the course of the last 20 years and is a major contributor to cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes and elevated blood fats,” says Dr. Ruth McPherson, Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson and lipid expert. “Physical activity and healthy diet are important lifestyle factors in combating obesity. This study provides new clues on the regulation of skeletal muscle metabolism relevant to the treatment of obesity.”

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Nicole Wilson
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