New drug can create ‘good’ fat to combat obesity
Scientists have identified a new drug that can create beneficial “brown” or “good” fat to boost metabolism, combat obesityand Type II diabetes.
Researchers from Gladstone Institutes San Francisco in the US treated mice with a drug called bexarotene (Bex) and found they had more “brown fat, faster metabolisms and less body weight gain, even after being fed a high-calorie diet”.
“All current weight loss drugs control appetite and there is nothing on the market that targets energy expenditure. Introducing brown fat is an exciting new approach to treating obesity and associated metabolic diseases, such as diabetes,” said Baoming Nie from the Gladstone Institutes.
Scientists used cellular reprogramming to convert muscle precursor cells and white fat cells into “brown” fat cells and said it could be a new way to combat obesity and type II diabetes.
“Bex acts on a protein called retinoid X receptor (RXR), which controls a network of other cellular proteins. Specifically, when RXR was stimulated by Bex, it turned on genes needed to produce “brown” fat and turned off genes linked to white fat or muscle,” the study explained.