The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 11 No. 7 • December 2008

Fatty Acid Synthase as a Target for Antiviral Therapy

Fatty acid synthase is an interesting enzyme. Not only does it control the last step in the synthesis of fats, but it is known to be required by many types of human cancer. A new paper1 now reports that upregulation of host fatty acid biosynthesis by increasing host fatty acid synthase expression is required for replication by two enveloped viruses, human cytomegalovirus and influenza A.* This was determined by utilizing inhibitors of fatty acid synthase (C75) or ACC (acetylCoA carboxylase) (TOFA) and finding that these two enzymes, carrying out the last two steps of fatty acid synthesis, are required for replication by the two viruses.

*E.g., the viruses hijack host fatty acid synthase, without which they cannot reproduce.

Fatty acid synthase (FAS) inhibitors are found in some plants (perhaps in part to protect against enveloped viruses like those above), such as certain varieties of tea (Camellia sinensis). Our ShapeShifter Teas™ were specifically designed with combinations of teas that have FAS inhibitory properties for help with weight loss and weight maintenance. We have personally observed noticeable symptomatic relief during viral infections from increasing our consumption of tea.

For more on the effects of ShapeShifter Teas on FAS, see “Cocktail of Selected Teas for Better Health and Weight Loss” in the April 2007 issue of Life Enhancement magazine.


  1. Munger et al. Systems-level metabolic flux profiling identifies fatty acid synthesis as a target for antiviral therapy. Nat Biotechnol 26(10):1179-86 (2008).

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