Innovation-scientists discovered anti-obesity drug
Scientists recently developed anti-obesity drugs that prevent weight gain in order to combat obesity and related diseases.
New research by a team of Australian scientists has unexpectedly revealed a novel anti-obesity drug. Initially working to create a drug that prevents insulin resistance, the researchers discovered in early animal tests that it instead prevented the animals from depositing and storing fat.
They found that when the enzyme known as CerS1 (ceramide synthase 1) was blocked in mice they remained lean – even after gorging on high fat food.
The Australian team is hopeful the same will apply to humans. They hailed it as a “major step forward” in combating obesity and related diseases.
“Mice have lots of similarities to humans in their physiology and metabolism, and we are never going to do studies where the diets of humans are controlled in the same way for such long periods. So the evidence it provides is a good clue to what the effects of different diets are likely to be in humans.”
Their drug, dubbed PO53, was developed to specifically to target the protein because it was believed to be linked to insulin resistance in muscles, liver and fat.
Surprisingly, it did not prevent the lab rodents’ levels of blood sugar rising – but lipids instead. The researchers found stopping CerS1 burned them up in skeletal muscle – meaning the mice had less adipose tissue.
“We anticipated that targeting this enzyme would have insulin-sensitizing, rather than anti-obesity effects,” explains Nigel Turner, one of the authors on the study. “However, since obesity is a strong risk factor for many different diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer, any new therapy in this space could have widespread benefits.”
The researchers said the findings open up a potential new therapeutic avenue for the treatment of obesity. But further studies are required to determine if they translate to humans.
This new research is published in the journal Nature Communications.