Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy fix to our weight loss problems in the United States? Recently the CDC released a report on the dramatic increase in obesity in the U.S. over the last 20 years. The states with the greatest prevalence of obesity (great than 30% of their population) are Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Only one state, Colorado, has less than 20% of their population who are considered obese.
For the millions of Americans who want to lose weight, but had to exercise and diet, the recently published study in the online journal Nature Chemical Biology might offer that “easy fix” to weight loss and healthy lifestyle.
Researchers at Indiana University published a study using rodents which shows great promise with the use of a single drug that suppressed appetite and increased metabolism. If future research in humans shows the same results, then indeed it could be the “easy fix for weight problems.”
The drug was given in a once a week injection. Within a week after receiving a single injection, the rodents’ body weight decreased by 25% which translates into a 42% reduction of fat mass.
Over time, the obese mice were noted to have obtained normalized weight and glucose tolerance. Reduction of body weight was achieved by a loss of body fat resulting from decreased food intake and increased energy expenditure.
Dr Richare DiMarchi states, “I’m excited. It is rodent work that’s representative of human obesity. What we’re doing is using the proven ability of two hormones to stop appetite and use more calories.”
The drug is a combination of two natural hormones (PEGylated peptides) which researchers say might one day be taken as a weekly injection. The peptides are the active ingredients in two medications already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — the diabetes drug Byetta, and Glucagon, which is used to control blood sugar.
Currently, there is no easy fix for weight loss in humans. It will be years before the drug is ready for human trials. For now, it is important to continue to use diet and exercise for a healthy weight.
“A new glucagon and GLP-1 co-agonist eliminates obesity in rodents”; Nature Chemical Biology, Published online: 13 July 2009 | doi:10.1038/nchembio.209; Jonathan W Day, Nickki Ottaway, James T Patterson, Vasily Gelfanov, David Smiley, Jas Gidda, Hannes Findeisen, Dennis Bruemmer, Daniel J Drucker, Nilika Chaudhary, Jenna Holland, Jazzminn Hembree, William Abplanalp, Erin Grant, Jennifer Ruehl, Hilary Wilson, Henriette Kirchner, Sarah Haas Lockie, Susanna Hofmann, Stephen C Woods, Ruben Nogueiras, Paul T Pfluger, Diego Perez-Tilve, Richard DiMarchi & Matthias H Tschöp
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
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