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US researchers are developing new diet pills
So far, consistent changes in diet and sufficient physical activity have been the only demonstrable promising remedy for overweight and obesity (obesity). Various diet pills based on the protein Farensoid X Receptor (FXR) have already been developed in the past, which are said to achieve improved fat burning. However, there were significant side effects here, since the substance also entered the bloodstream.
US researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla have presented a new diet pill in the journal "Nature Medicine", which - unlike most previous diet pills - does not pass into the blood, but remains in the intestine that there are no corresponding side effects to fear. According to the Salk Institute, the scientists have “developed a completely new type of pill” that trick the body and pretend that it is consuming calories, which activates fat burning. In trials with mice, the active ingredient "fexaramine" has led to weight loss, reduced cholesterol and blood sugar levels, minimized signs of inflammation and an increased conversion of white to brown body fat.
Obesity Poses Significant Health Risks In modern industrialized nations worldwide, obesity and obesity are a growing problem. The classification is usually based on the so-called Body Mass Index (BMI). People with a BMI between 25 and 30 are considered overweight, people with a BMI over 30 are obese. According to the Salk Institute, more than a third of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. For those affected, there is an increased risk of diseases such as hardening of the arteries, diabetes or high blood pressure. The risk of stroke is also increased by being overweight. Since sustainable weight loss can usually only be achieved with significant changes in lifestyle, many people affected do not lose their excess kilograms. A simple diet pill appears to be an attractive alternative here.
Diet pill works like an imaginary meal So far, the available diet pills have been of extremely limited effect or they have brought with them a significant risk of side effects. The US scientists have now taken a new approach to their preparation that uses the effects of the FXR protein and at the same time prevents the active ingredient from entering the bloodstream. "This pill is like an imaginary meal," explains the senior author of the current study, Ronald Evans. After ingestion, the same signals would be transmitted in the body as would normally be emitted when eating food in order to make the energy stores free or available. But the diet pill "contains no calories and does not change appetite," said the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
Activation of fat burning The basis of the new diet pill is the farensoid X receptor (FXR), which has a significant influence on the release of bile acids from the liver, food digestion and the storage of fat and sugar. At the beginning of a meal, FXR is activated and the body is prepared for calorie intake or storage. This also leads to an activation of fat burning, the US researchers explain. Based on the framework that most pharmaceutical companies use to manufacture their FXR activation preparations, Evans and colleagues developed a variant that does not enter the bloodstream and thus avoids known side effects. "It turned out that when taken orally, this only works in the intestine," reports co-author Michael Downes.
Clinical study in preparation When the effect of the new dietary agent was tested on mice, the researchers did very convincingly. Obese mice who received a fexaramine pill daily for five weeks lost weight and fat and showed lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels than untreated mice, according to the Salk Institute. In addition, the mice showed an increase in body temperature, which, according to the researchers, suggests a stronger activity of the metabolism. Following the convincing results, the US scientists are now working on the preparation of a clinical study to test the effectiveness of fexaramine against obesity and metabolic diseases in humans. (fp)
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