Scientists Have Discovered a Safer Way to Treat Obesity

Obesity is a very complex body condition characterized by excessive amount of body fat which if left untreated leads to many problems such as heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure. Some of cancers are also associated with it. Obesity occurs due to imbalance between the intake of food and energy expenditure (EE). Many people go for extreme starvation related diet plans and high potency medicines which ultimately harms the body.

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According to the Scientists at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research “except the bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) the other therapies are not found to be effective in maintaining the body weight which are basically involved in targeting modulation of food intake. Such treatments also cause some anxiety related behavior and certain side effects usually occur that decrease the effectiveness of such strategies”.

Most of the prescribed treatments mainly focus on reducing food intake by targeting our Central nervous system indirectly affecting our brain. So instead of getting beneficial effects we start welcoming other disease conditions to affect us.

In a study it has been revealed that blocking a specific receptor of the molecule neuropeptide Y (NPY), which helps our body regulate its heat production, could increase fat metabolism and prevent weight gain.

“The Y1 receptor acts as a ‘on off switch’ for heat generation in the body. In our study, we found that blocking this receptor in fat tissues transformed the ‘energy-storing’ fat into ‘energy-burning’ fat, which switched on heat production and reduced weight gain,” says Dr Yan-Chuan Shi, Leader of the Neuroendocrinology Group at Garvan and co-senior author of the paper published in Nature Communications.

It has been surprising to know that Y1 receptors are produced in large amount in obese people suggesting that there is a link between signaling of Y1R and becoming obese. By conducting various experiments scientists block or stop the production of Y1R receptor and it’s signaling by undergoing treating with BIBO3304. It acts in peripheral body parts and doesn’t cross the blood -brain barrier. Thus it avoids psychological issues that occur due to such drugs. All these evidences come from experiments done on mouse models which resulted in body heat generation and ultimately reduction of body weight was observed. In addition to this, improvement in glucose homeostasis was also seen. Additional trials on human fat cells were also conducted by applying BIBO3304 and it was concluded that by targeting or blocking Y1 receptor fat metabolism is increased thus leading to reduced weight gain in humans.

“Our investigation on blocking the Y1 receptors in peripheral tissues by taking care it won’t affect the central nervous system is greatly effective in overcoming obesity by enhancing the expenditure of energy. It is the best approach which is safer than currently available medications which target the appetite.” Said Herzog. Further potential benefits like initiation of bone cell growth, insulin resistance and improvement in cardiovascular function have also been observed
by targeting the NPY-Y1 receptor system. I hope in future further benefits of BIBO3304 will also be seen in treat obesity and other health related disorders.


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