What is it about?
Obesity is a growing problem worldwide, putting people at increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. However, low calorie diets have proven to be difficult for most people to sustain. Vegan diets have received significant attention as a more sustainable way to enable people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Plant-based diets are low in methionine, a specific type of nutrient called an "amino acid" that is found in dietary protein. Here, we find that short-term methionine deprivation can improve body composition and blood sugar control in mice. Interestingly, while both male and female mice respond positively to methionine deprivation, the way those positive effects are achieved differs between the sexes. These results suggest that reducing the amount of methionine in the diet may be one way to improve the health of people suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes.
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