Scientists Find Weight Loss By Imitating Effects From Cold And Nicotine

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Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, among others, have found a way to improve the metabolism of mice and make them lose weight, which resulted in some interesting findings, reports Science Daily. In fact, it turns out these scientists found that stimulating the body’s cold tolerance and nicotinic receptors resulting in weight loss.

The dangers of obesity and its increasing prevalence in the western world, and in fact half of the adult population in Denmark, have led researchers to try and further tackle the health concern. Researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have now found a method to fight this problem with a new treatment, cites Science Daily. The treatment, that which was tested on mice, burns more energy, suppresses the appetite and produces weight loss.

These researchers used aspects of some everyday life to begin their investigation on whether or not pharmacologically they would be able to imitate some of the effects caused by winter swimming and smoking. What were the results? It turns out that an increase in the energy turnover — which may occur in cold environments and decreased appetite as you see in connection with the uptake of nicotine — activates the body’s brown fat, that which burns energy. Associate professor Christoffer Clemmensen from the University of Copenhagen further elaborated to reporters on the findings.

“We tried to find the molecular mechanisms for the way in which cold increases the burning of energy in order to duplicate them in a medical product. We found a cold receptor — TRPM8 — and identified the substance icilin which can activate it. However, the cold receptor is not found on brown fat. It seems that the cold receptor on the surface of the skin sends a signal to the brain that subsequently activates the brown fat via nerve connectors.”

The scientists found that the mice which were tested did, in fact, become slimmer when given icilin, a chemical that increased their energy turnover. The effect, however, was not strong enough to “have any actual effect for patients, even if we could optimise the medical product,” says Clemmensen. He stated that the best way to create a negative energy balance, one needs to focus on eating less.

What exactly is this synergy effect on body weight that these scientists are talking about? Since their findings were not solid enough, the began to look for something they could combine with icilin treatment. Thus came about the investigation into nicotinic receptors. The receptor is named after nicotine because this is one of the substances that can activate the receptor which decreases the appetite, notes Science Daily. Following a wide range of tests of various pharmacological substances that could activate nicotinic receptors, researchers discovered dimethylphenylpiperazinium (DMPP).

These tests brought about a weight loss of about a 12 percent increase over a 20-day period. Indeed, the mice also had an improved metabolism and a vanishing glucose intolerance. However, it will require several studies to determine if the combination treatment has the same effect on humans.