Tag Archives: New England Journal of Medicine

Obesity Gene Discovery May Aid Fat Loss

Losing weight without diet or exercise may seem impossible but new genetic research about the causes of obesity makes it possible. According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have discovered a genetic “switch” inside fat cells that can increase your metabolism and help you burn fat as heat energy.

Obesity Gene & Weight Loss

According to new study, researchers have discovered a genetic “switch” inside fat cells that can speed up your metabolism and burn fat, preventing obesity. Photo by 123R

In the study, mice in the lab lost 50 percent of their body weight when researchers turned that genetic switch on. By examining human fat cells, it has been indicated that this may also work for humans, said senior author Manolis Kellis, a professor of computer science and computational biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. This sounds like a cool idea, eat as much as you want, then flip on a genetic switch to help you burn calories and lose weight.

The mice were eating the same amount but were not exercising more. The energy burned was in the form of heat so this means that researchers switched their metabolism from energy storage to energy dissipation.

The focus on this research was a gene region known as “FTO,” which has been in the spotlight since its discovery in 2007. Prior research tried to pair the FTO region with brain circuits that control hunger, but researchers now believe the action happens in fat cells and affects how much food is kept, independently of the brain. Hopefully there may be a way to trigger that gene with future medications to turn on that switch and fight obesity.

The researchers also discovered a higher occurrence of two distant genes, IRX3 and IRX5, which meant more fat storage. By changings the pathways of these genes, scientists can reverse the traces of obesity. The scientists specifically looked at “beige fat,” which is closely related to “white fat.” On the other hand, “brown fat” is usually found in newborn babies and burns faster. The mutations in the cells were manipulated so the white fat turned into beige fat. The amounts of early fat cells were increased so that they turned into beige fat instead of white fat.

According to the www.nejm.org (CDC), more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, costing about $200 billion dollars each year for medical costs. Obesity is steadily rising and people face serious health conditions such as type-2 diabetes, heart diseases and certain types of cancer. This type of research is very important for finding another method for weight loss and preventing obesity to say the least.

With this new discovery of manipulating fat cells to fight obesity in mice, the next step will be finding out how this works with humans. Although diet and exercise is not required for this obesity gene manipulation, it is still important that you do these things for long term fat loss.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: www.nejm.org Melina Claussnitzer, Simon N. Dankel, Kyoung-Han Kim, et al “FTO Obesity Variant Circuitry and Adipocyte Browning in Humans” The New England Journal of Medicine 19 August 2015

Diabetes Drug May Aid Weight Loss

Liraglutide (better known as Saxenda), a new injectable diabetes drug approved last year, helps patients who are obese or severely overweight lose weight, according to a new study.

Diabetes Drug May Aid Weight Loss

An injectable diabetes drug, liraglutide ( Saxenda), may help overweight people lose weight, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Photo by Yourwellness

The most recent study of the drug, Saxenda, involved 3,700 individuals from six different continents and presented similar results to those in the previous trial: improved fat loss and control of blood sugars, but also several known side effects (New England Journal of Medicine 2015). These discoveries were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I don’t usually recommend weight loss drugs to help individuals lose weight but this one was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in December of last year.

Patients who injected Saxenda lost an average of 18 pounds over a year compared to an average of 6 pounds for those who took a placebo. The participants were also given a reduced-calorie diet and an increased exercise regimen along with the injections. Combining a healthy diet and physical activity is what makes any weight loss medication successful and that is exactly what happened in this study. Women who are pregnant can also benefit from liraglutide which is another advantage.

Sixty-three percent of those who got the injection lost more than 5 percent of their body weight compared to 27 percent who used a placebo. The drug “tends to decrease gastric emptying, the emptying of the stomach. And it gives signals to the brain to lower and increase satiety, said Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer of Colombia University Medical Center (New England Journal of Medicine 2015). In other words, this weight loss drug can act as an appetite suppressant to help you lower calories by making you feel full.

This drug is specifically for individuals who are overweight or obese with at least one related health condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The side effects of liraglutide (Saxenda) include nausea, diarrhea, pancreatitis and gall bladder abnormalities.

The study was funded by the drug’s creator, Novo Nordisk, in which the FDA required the company to conduct further safety testing showing the serious side effects. For people who are overweight or obese, this new diabetes drug may be a powerful option to finally conquer fat loss along with diet and exercise.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Xavier Pi-Sunyer, Arne Astrup, Ken Fujioka, et al “A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 3.0 mg of Liraglutide in Weight Management” The New England Journal of Medicine 2 July 2015