Trying your best and still unable to shake off those few extra pounds? Worry no more as this fat-fighting drug shows promising results in initial testing. Scientists from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are developing a medication that has already lowered body weight in obese mice, even though they kept eating the same amount.
A protein called nicotinamide-N-methyltransferase (NNMT) is overexpressed in fat cells as they get larger. NNMT slows down fat cell metabolism by acting as a metabolic brake. As more and more of the protein gets expressed, the harder it is for the cells to burn the fat.
The new fat-fighting drug takes all that into account and prevents the NNMT from operating in the obese white fat cells. This increases the fat-burning metabolism and makes it easier to lose those extra pounds. Mice were placed on a high-fat diet to make them obese. Afterwards, scientists performed their experiments.
The mice were either given the drug or a placebo. Only 10 days after the drug was administered, the mice experienced a 7 percent loss in total body weight. Also, their white fat tissue mass and cell size decreased by 30 percent compared to the placebo group. Their cholesterol levels also dropped to the normal limit. Whereas, the mice with the placebo continued to gain weight. Both the groups of mice continued to consume the same amount of food during the trial.
“Blocking the action of the fat cell brake provides an innovative ‘fat’-specific mechanism to increase cell metabolism and reduce the size of white fat deposits, thereby treating a root cause of obesity and related metabolic diseases,” says Harshini Neelakantan, the study’s senior author. “These initial results are encouraging and support further development of this technology as a new and more effective approach to combating metabolic diseases.”
Now this new drug will have people lining up outside the stores!