Tiny fat-burning molecule may help fight obesity without much side effects

Finding provides support for the use of a new metabolic drug to control diet-induced obesity.

Raising hope for an effective pill to fight obesity without much side effects, researchers have found that a tiny molecule can help offset effects of high-fat diet and induce weight loss. When the compound was fed to obese mice, the animals' metabolism sped up and their excess weight was shed, said the study led by scientists at French biotechnology company ABIVAX. The results of this animal study show that this molecule can abrogate or do away with the effect of a high-fat diet, said one of the lead researchers Julien Santo. Dietary management and exercise are not always successful as an intervention for obesity, underscoring the need for efficient medication to treat metabolic disorders, added Lopez-Herrera, who believes this treatment represents an as-yet unexplored approach to treat obesity. The researchers said that the molecule works by recruiting the help of a body's own genes in countering the effects of a high-fat diet. The study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that blocking a protein with the compound promotes gene expression of the protein that burns calories and prevents fat gain or induces fat loss when mice were on a high-fat diet. It did not have any effect on lean mice of normal weight.

According to the research team, this approach alters the animals' metabolic rate or energy expenditure. It means that it can speed up the metabolism of obese animals, and that their bodies start to function at a higher energy level shedding the excess weight. In the process, their bodies started to burn through much more fat, as especially fatty acids serve as much-needed sources of energy. The researcher believe that the finding provides support for the use of a new metabolic drug to control diet-induced obesity. (Read: Low income and education increases obesity risk in young adults)

Source: IANS

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