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Weight and Obesity Medications

Shrinking Fat Without Suppressing Appetite

6 months, 1 week ago

9756  0
Posted on Feb 08, 2018, 11 a.m.

University of Texas Medical Branch researchers are working to develop a promising new drug to help combat the obesity epidemic that has been shown to shrink excess fat by increasing fat cell metabolism. According to the researchers the drug has the ability to decrease body weight and blood cholesterol levels without lowering food intake as published in Biochemical Pharmacology.

University of Texas Medical Branch researchers are working to develop a promising new drug to help combat the obesity epidemic that has been shown to shrink excess fat by increasing fat cell metabolism. According to the researchers the drug has the ability to decrease body weight and blood cholesterol levels without lowering food intake as published in Biochemical Pharmacology.

 

Obesity is a leading cause of healthcare costs and compromised quality of life, and is a growing major public health problem worldwide. It is estimated that in the USA 40% of adults are obese and 30% are overweight struggling with serious obesity related chronic diseases, with an estimated cost of close to $150 billion each year.

 

Overexpression of a protein occurs as fat cells grow that acts as a metabolic brake. This brake slows down fat cell metabolism, which makes it harder for these cells to burn the accumulating fat. Increased amounts of hormones and pro-inflammatory signals are secreted as the fat tissue expands that are responsible for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

 

A molecule has been discovered by the researchers that blocks this metabolic brake from operating in obese white fat cells, by blocking this brake the researchers were able to increase the metabolism within the white fat cells.

 

Obese model mice were given either a placebo or the drug. White fat and weight gain continued to accumulate in the placebo treated mice throughout the duration of the study. Following 10 days of treatment with the drug the obese mice that had received the drug had a decrease of white fat tissue mass and their cell size decreasing by 30% and had lost more than 7% of their total body weight as compared to the placebo group. Drug treated model mice blood cholesterol levels were lowered to normal levels that were similar to those of nonobese mice. Both groups of mice consumed the same amount of food during the period of study, showing that fat loss was not due to appetite suppression.

 

Blocking the actions of the fat cell brake provides an innovative fat specific mechanism to increase cell metabolism and reduce the size of white fat deposits treating a root cause of obesity and related metabolic diseases. These results are promising and warrant further investigation into the development of this technology to create a new more effective manner in combating metabolic diseases.

 

Materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Harshini Neelakantan, Virginia Vance, Michael D. Wetzel, Hua-Yu Leo Wang, Stanton F. McHardy, Celeste C. Finnerty, Jonathan D. Hommel, Stanley J. Watowich. Selective and membrane-permeable small molecule inhibitors of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase reverse high fat diet-induced obesity in mice. Biochemical Pharmacology, 2018; 147: 141 DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2017.11.007

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