Your dreams may soon come true as a new study has revealed that scientists may be close to developing a pill that helps people lose weight by mimicking the effects of physical exercises.
A team of researchers from the University of Southampton (Great Britain) have synthesized a downright magical molecule that behaves like an “exercise mimic” and tricks cells into believing that they have no more energy left.
The new molecule works by causing events to trigger in a chain reaction inside the cell. It takes on the role and responsibilities of an enzyme known as “ATIC” which is one of the main elements responsible for signaling insulin in the human body.
As a direct result, something known as “ZMP” gets build up inside the cells. ZMP is seen by field experts as a “master regulator” for metabolism. It’s precisely the ZMP that’s responsible for making cells believe that they have no more energy left. It also activates the central energy censor of the cell, which is referred to as “AMPK”.
What happens next is that the cells start to compensate by increasing their metabolism and their glucose update. These are the changes that typically happen inside the body during a workout session and result in weight loss.
Felino Cagampang, associate professor with an expertise in integrative physiology, and Ali Tavassoli, professor of chemical biology, have dubbed the molecule “compound 14” and firmly believe that it could be the answer to treating obesity as well as type 2 diabetes.
If further tests will prove that the molecule is safe for humans to consume, medical professionals may sell it to patients in the shape of a pill.
For their study, professor Cagampang and professor Tavassoli tested compound 14 on two (2) separate groups of mice. One of the groups was put on normal, well-balanced diet, while the other one was put on a diet high in fat in order to make the subjects obese. The second group also had their glucose tolerance impaired in order to put them in a state of pre-diabetes.
What they found was that the weight and blood glucose levels of the mice who had been put on a normal died remained the same. However, when the research team looked at the group of mice who had been put on a diet high in fat, they noticed that compound 14 helped the mice lower their blood glucose levels to an almost normal state after just one dose.
After seven (7) days of receiving a daily dose of compound 14, the obese mice had lost 5 percent (5%) of their body weight. This is also the goal that doctors and nutritionists set for patients when they first embark on a weight loss diet.
Professor Cagampang gave a statement explaining that the “new molecule seems to reduce glucose levels and at the same time decrease body weight, but only if the subject is obese”.
Professor Tavassoli also gave a statement informing that previous studies support the idea of selectively activating AMPK in order to alter cellular metabolism.
The duo went on to share that they first want to look at the effects of long-term treatment in mice before moving on to human trials.
The study was published earlier this week, on Monday (July 27, 2015) in the medical journal Chemistry and Biology.
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