Can’t Lose Weight? Blame Your Immune System…

New research has identified a mind-boggling link between your immune system and your ability (or inability) to lose weightAgilent technologies were used in this research.

Your intestines contain a large number of immune cells that help protect you against microbial infections as you digest your food.  But these cells can also slow down your metabolism, causing you to store that food as fat instead of energy.

Why?  Scientists believe these immune cells helped prehistoric people survive during food shortages.

Here’s the interesting part.  U.S. scientists engineered some mice to eliminate those immune cells.  Then they fed both engineered and normal mice a diet high in fat, sugar and salt.

The reengineered mice stayed trim.  The normal mice became obese and developed high blood pressure and glucose intolerance.  (These conditions are precursors to diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.)

Several Agilent technologies were used in the research, including Dako AEC substrates, Dako antibodies and Seahorse XF Analyzers.  Dako and Seahorse are both part of Agilent.

The researchers hope their work will lead to better approaches to combat obesity and heart disease.

“For a long time we’ve treated the consequences of obesity,” says Dr. Michael Blaha of Johns Hopkins, “because we have not had ways to attack the causes of obesity.

“It would be much better if we were able to treat the reasons for disordered metabolism rather than its consequences.”

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