Drug That May Prevent Weight Gain Discovered by Yale Researchers

  • Scientists from Yale University discovered a miracle drug by accident.
  • This drug can hopefully solve America’s obesity crisis as researchers found it to stop the body from storing fat.
  • Originally trying to create a morbidly obese mouse, the team was able to create one that eats anything but doesn’t get fat.

A drug that could allow you to eat whatever you want without gaining weight in the process was discovered by a team of Yale University researchers by accident.

The Experiment

Using mice, they discovered that some glaucoma drugs block the production of a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A). Without the VEGF-A, the pores in the gut where fat deposits pass through before absorption into the body close up.

The experiment involved feeding high-fat diets to mice with an administration of the protein VEGF-A in some of the animals. Eight weeks after, the mice that were not given the protein did not gain weight and appeared to be skinny. The mice expelled all the fat from the foods they consumed. In contrast, the mice who were given the protein became obese even doubling their weights.

The ‘Accident’

According to study author and cardiology professor Anne Eichmann and associate research scientist Feng Zang, the findings actually came as a surprise. Originally, they were trying to come up with a different protein that will impact weight.

The unexpected results led to further investigations by the team. Two genes in the gut cells called NRP1 and VEGFR were identified and when these are removed, the pores present in the gut cells close instead of remaining open. Blocking it prevents the fat from reaching the small lymphatic vessels where fat is transferred to the gut via the pores.

In addition, the team also found an alternative that could trigger the same effect on the two genes. Drugs that are administered to patients with glaucoma, an eye condition, turned out to give the same effect.

The “accident” was published in the journal Science posed the question: Would this work out for humans as well?

The Future

Take note that the study was done on mice, so there is so much work to be done before scientists can determine whether this works for humans.

“They could be tested in humans for lipid-lowering effects,” Eichmann told Wired.

But she said it will take some time before the drug potentially becomes a diet pill.

The study paves the way for further research on body weight regulation and provides enlightenment for researchers to address the obesity crisis.

Source:  New York Post

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