Researchers have developed a drug that can convert white fat, that is considered bad for the human body, into brown fat, which is beneficial. The experimental weight-loss drug that will eventually help people burn fat has been trialed in mice, and the results are highly promising.
The new drug, technically referred to as GC-1, has successfully boosted mice’s metabolism, and helped them shed weight rapidly and healthily. The drug affects weight loss by converting the ‘bad’ white fat into ‘good’ brown-like fat, which is commonly acknowledged to burn up energy way faster, explained lead researcher Kevin Phillips from the Houston Methodist Research Institute.
“GC-1 dramatically increases the metabolic rate, essentially converting white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity and metabolic disease, into a fat like calorie-burning brown fat.”
White fat isn’t all bad. It is helpful in maintaining ideal body temperature, however, as with anything, too much of the white fat is bad for our health. Referring to the white fat as our “metabolic villain” Phillips confirmed that people with more brown fat have been known to have a significantly reduced risk of diabetes and obesity.
“GC-1 turns white fat into brown fat by activating the receptors for thyroid hormone – a hormone that plays an important role in regulating the body’s metabolism and is involved in converting excess energy into heat. It’s has now been tested on hundreds of mice that have either diet-induced obesity or genetic obesity.”
White fat cells grown in a petri dish were also being converted into brown fat cells, continued Phillips.
“Our data demonstrate that GC-1 is a novel fat-browning agent that may have use in the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease.”
The compound has had exceptional success in mice. Just after a two-week course, genetically obese mice lost weight and also more than 50 percent of their fat mass. Moreover, even those mice that became obese due to their diets had a very similar response.
In other words, GC-1 works well if you are predisposed to obesity and diabetes, or have acquired the diseases as a result of an unhealthy diet and poor exercise regime.
As an added bonus, mice that had been treated with the drug also had much better insulin sensitivity, in certain cases as much as a six-fold improvement was observed, revealed the researchers. This directly implies that GC-1 can offer protection against diabetes as well.
The miracle weight-loss “fat-browning” compound is currently undergoing clinical trials for its ability to lower cholesterol under the name Sobetirome. However, researchers caution to achieve weight-loss, the drug would have to be taken in much larger doses.[Image Credit | Doctors @ Your Home]