New drug accelerates weight loss
The treatment showed encouraging results in early tests, suggesting it may accelerate the rate at which fat is burned off by the body.
If it is shown to be safe in clinical trials, the drug could be used to speed up the way calories are used up.
The treatment, developed by scientists in Germany, works by promoting the production of more ‘healthy’ brown fat and less ‘unhealthy’ white fat.
Troublesome white fat soaks up calories and stores them in bellies, love handles and thighs, raising the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
But adults also have a small amount of healthier brown fat – known as adipose tissue – which burns off calories and generates heat for the body as it does so.
Researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany discovered that a particular enzyme – called soluble guanylate cyclase, or sGC – triggers the conversion of food into more brown fat and less white fat.
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Around 90 per cent of the fat in an average adult’s body of the unhealthy white variety.
But babies and children have lots of brown fat to keep them warm and adults who have more brown fat are slimmer than those without.
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