Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston believed that they have created a drug that not only reduces fat but allows you keep your appetite. The drug significantly reduces body weight and blood cholesterol levels without lowering intake of food, according to the release. The approximated cost of obesity in the U.S. is about $150 billion each year, as reported by UTMB.
UTMB associate professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, senior author Stanley Watowich said: “As fat cells grow larger, they begin to overexpress a protein that acts as a metabolic brake that decreases fat cell metabolism, making it harder for these cells to burn accumulating fat. In addition, as the fat tissue expands, they secrete greater amounts of hormones and pro-inflammatory signals that are responsible for several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
The researchers discovered a molecule that blocks this metabolic brake from operating in obese white fat cells, UTMB says. They were able to increase the metabolism of white fat cells by blocking this metabolic brake. For the study, mice were given a high-fat diet until they became obese and then received either the drug or a placebo.
In addition, blood cholesterol in drug-treated mice was lowered to normal levels, similar to those of non-obese mice. During to the course of the study period, mice in both the drug-treated and placebo groups consumed the same amount of food, which show that the fat loss was not due to appetite suppression. Senior author Harshini Neelakantan, a UTMB research scientist in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology said: “Blocking the action of the fat cell brake provides an innovative ‘fat’-specific mechanism to raise cell metabolism and diminish the size of white fat deposits, thereby treating a root cause of obesity and related metabolic diseases.”