February 4, 2020

Good advice on obesity? Wait for it…

By Sharon Rosen

There isn’t a one size fits all treatment for the 40% of Americans who suffer from obesity. But what if those affected could follow an individualized plan, tailored to their biological and genetic traits to lose weight? That’s a question Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Andre Acosta, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues across Mayo Clinic are asking … and beginning to answer.

Andres Acosta, M.D., Ph.D.

With support from Mayo's Center for Individualized Medicine and the Center for Biomedical Discovery, Dr. Acosta and his team are working to identify new treatment targets with single cell RNA sequencing, which examines the RNA instructions within a specific type of cell, and using multiomics — which combines information from our genome, microbiome and other “omes” — to dig deeper into the different types of obesity and identify new treatment possibilities.

“We need the basic science information to understand how the target works and compounds that might be an option for the new protein, molecule or whatever so we can bring it back to the bedside,” says Dr. Acosta.

And not a moment too soon.

“People with obesity are more likely to die from obesity,” says Dr. Acosta. “And if we put that in years and we compare someone with obesity versus someone who does not have obesity, they will live 13 years less. So obesity matters, for many of us.”

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