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Researchers from several institutes have found that an anti-fungal protein in plants called osmotin acts in a similar way to a hormone in people that is associated with weight loss. This hormone's activity may also help reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Osmotin is found in plants foods such as many fruits, seeds and vegetables. Researchers discovered that receptors in human muscle cells can bind to osmotin as well as adiponectin. Thus, a correlation was found between the activity of osmotin and adinopectin. Sugar uptake is regulated by the binding of a receptor to adinopectin and animal trials have found this process to inhibit the development of diabetes and atherosclerosis. Other studies have shown that diabetics have reduced levels of adinopectin and researchers are now wondering if osmotin can be used to take its place in order to deliver the same health benefits. Other studies have also indicated a correlation between low adiponectin levels and increased breast cancer risk.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Newswise
About: Plant protein may protect against some human diseases
Date: 24 January 2005
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