New drug tricks body into thinking it ate
A drug designed to make the body think it has already consumed a meal has shown effective results in research done with mice.
The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, reports that an experimental drug called fexaramine triggers a molecular response that causes bile acid to be released in the intestines, mimicking the usual physiological response the body has after eating a meal.
The release of bile causes a chemical chain reaction of other bodily processes as well that changes blood sugars and burns some body fat. The study indicates there are fewer side effects with this medication compared to previous diet pills because it remains in the intestines and does not enter the blood stream.
Researchers gave obese mice on a high-fat diet one daily dose of fexaramine for five weeks. The mice stopped gaining weight, had lower blood sugar levels, and increased their amount of energy-burning brown fat. Mice who did not undergo this treatment did not exhibit any of these changes.
While the drug is a long way from being tested in humans, researchers hope it could be a nonsurgical way to treat obesity in the future.