A New Gene Discovered For Obesity And Diabetes Prevention?


Does your body hold the secret to losing weight and reversing diabetes? Well, it does ‘secrete’ a very interesting hormone called gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) that many researchers believe to be a key player in fat metabolism.

Although it’s full role in the body is not yet understood, a new study with mice shows that blocking GIP of a hormone results in significant weight loss, improvement of insulin resistance and amelioration of diabetes/type 2 diabetes.

What is GIP?

GIP is found in the intestine, heart, stomach, adipose (fatty tissue) and in the brain.  The body makes this hormone in response to food in order to inhibit the production of acids responsible for stimulating the release of insulin during the digestive process. Researchers have observed that high-fat diets in obese patients with diabetes/type 2 diabetes can cause prolonged secretions of GIP.

The Study

Entitled, “GIP Receptor Antagonism Reverses Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Associated Metabolic Disturbances Induced in Mice by Prolonged Consumption of High-Fat Diet,” this study was conducted by Paula L. McClean, Nigel Irwin, Roslyn S. Cassidy, Victor A. Gault and Peter R. Flatt (School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland); and Jens J. Holst (Department of Medical Physiology, The Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark).*

The researchers used a model for diet-induced obesity that has been used extensively alongside genetic models and has close parallels with obesity.  For details on the study design, please read the full article in Medical News Today.

Key Findings

  • Mice on the high-fat diet showed an increase in body weight and blood sugar levels that remained elevated throughout the study.
  • The progressive weight gain and high blood sugar lead to impaired insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance. Fat (adipose) tissue deposits were increased as were circulating cholesterol and triglyceride concentration levels.
  • (Pro3)GIP was able to counter many of the detrimental effects of high fat diet on body weight and indices of glucose and lipid metabolism.


Besides the heart, brain and stomach, GIP is found in a variety of tissues, including the intestine, which is the precise area circumvented by gastric bypass surgery.

Researcher Nigel Irwin, Ph.D., “Interestingly, possible parallels exist with the benefits of Roux-en-Y surgery (gastric bypass surgery) in treating gross obesity and associated diabetes in people. In this procedure, nutrients surgically bypass the area of the small intestine, resulting in a deficiency of circulating GIP. We are looking to better understand how and why.”

The study’s findings provide hope to physicians and patients alike for the development of non-invasive treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes as well new methods in diabetes prevention.

*Complete findings appear in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism (doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00460.2007), a publication of the American Physiological Society (APS; http://www.the-aps.org/).

One response to “A New Gene Discovered For Obesity And Diabetes Prevention?”

  1. Very interesting article. Non-invasive treatment to weight loss would be of enormous benefit. I look forward to see the progress of this study

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