By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Imagine being able to eat all the fatty foods you want without gaining weight. Researchers say that could one day be possible.

There is a pathway of proteins in the body that can inhibit the formation of fat cells, and researchers genetically modified mice to activate these proteins in response to fatty foods.

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The scientists found that after eating a high-fat diet for 8 weeks, the genetically altered mice gained no more weight than regular mice who were eating a standard diet. Not only that, the altered mice were leaner, had lower blood glucose and were more sensitive to insulin.

These were experiments done on mice, not humans, and researchers worry that altering these pathways in humans could increase the risk of cancer, but it is a promising avenue that scientists can continue to pursue.

Make Fat Cells Healthier

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A new study suggests that moderate exercise can make our fat cells healthier.

Researchers at the University of Michigan studied 20 overweight men and women and found that after an hour of moderate exercise, fat samples showed greater amounts of a protein that can help promote the growth of blood vessels.

More blood vessels means greater blood flow which brings more oxygen and nutrients and improves the overall health of tissues, including fat.

You may think fat just sits there taking up room in your body, but it’s actually a metabolically active tissue that that has a job to do….to store more fat. And that can be a good thing, keeping fat out of the bloodstream and away from organs where it can cause damage.

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This was a small study and it’s not clear whether different types of exercise are more beneficial than others but it highlights, once again, that exercise is good for your health.

Dr. Mallika Marshall