A new weight-loss drug that increases the body’s sensitivity to an appetite-suppressing hormone could provide one solution to obesity in America.
The weight-loss drug is called JD5037, and it has apparently been effective in making fat mice less hungry in a recent study. The drug boosts the body’s levels of leptin, the natural hormone in question. Overweight people are presumed to have become desensitized to leptin.
According to Fox News,
In the study, obese mice treated with the drug ate less, lost weight and experienced improved metabolic health, such as reduced insulin resistance, compared with obese mice not given the drug.
When they went on the weight-loss drug, the mice evidently lost 28 percent of their body weight after receiving a daily dose. The Los Angeles times adds that “After seven to 28 days on JD5037, obese rats were not only slim, their circulating leptin levels were similar to those of lean, healthy mice, and their insulin resistance and fatty livers resolved.”
Weight-loss drug JD5037 apparently works by blocking cannabinoid receptors, i.e., messenger chemicals that give people the munchies after they get high on pot. The new drug is designed to block such receptors in areas other than the brain, however, such as the liver and in fact. A previous drug treatment that penetrated the brain-brain barrier had to be yanked off the market because it caused psychiatric side effects.
Study author Dr. George Kunos said that “By sensitizing the body to naturally occurring leptin, the new drug could not only promote weight loss but also help maintain it.”
Researchers plan to start human trials once permission is obtained from the National Institutes of Health.
The weight-loss drug study was published in the Cell Metabolism journal, but it appears it is not yet available online.
Two other weight-loss drugs, Qsymia and Belviq, will soon be available to U.S. consumers.
Do you think the American public is too hooked on pharmaceutical drugs? Should obese people focus more on lifestyle changes including diet and exercise rather than swallowing another pill?