San Francisco scientists have discovered an enzyme in our bodies that acts as a double-edged sword. Called DGAT1, it plays a key role in fat synthesis, but it also appears to impact how our skin and hair function.
Researchers at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease found that mice who lack DGAT1 are essentially resistant to obesity, making them leaner than those who have the enzyme. However, this absence also causes skin abnormalities, such as unregulated, toxic levels of retinoic acid and increased sensitivity to retinol.
Additionally, mice who lacked the DGAT1 enzyme suffered from alopecia, or hair loss, which could only be prevented by a diet lacking vitamin A.
Whether or not this means a tendency to be overweight equals better and skin and hair has yet to be confirmed. However, study author Michelle Shih says, “These findings may have implications for the treatment of human skin or hair disorders.”
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