The anti-obesity industry is all abuzz about a bright & shiny new weight loss drug called Adipotide.
In a recent study, obese rhesus monkeys….
- lost 11% of their total body weight, and
- 27% of their belly fat mass
….in just four weeks of Adipotide treatment.
And while that’s pretty impressive, what really gets me excited about Adipotide is how it works.
Where other miracle “fat pills” have tried to reduce obesity by:
- controlling appetite
- increasing metabolism
- or preventing absorption of dietary fat
Adipotide works by:
- cutting off the blood supply to fat cells by means of a “homing agent that binds to a protein on the surface of fat-supporting blood vessels
- and a synthetic peptide that triggers cell death
The result of this is that when the supporting blood vessels have died and withered away, the offending fat cells are starved, reabsorbed and metabolized.
And the fat monkeys become fit monkeys
And it’s not just fat loss.
In this latest study, the obese monkeys saw a drastic improvement in insulin sensitivity and metabolic syndrome symptoms.
What about side effects?
Monkeys in the studies remained bright and alert throughout, interacting with caretakers and demonstrating no signs of nausea or food avoidance. This is potentially an important finding since unpleasant side-effects have limited the use of approved drugs that reduce fat absorption in the intestines.
The principal side effects were noted in the kidneys. “The renal effect was dose-dependent, predictable and reversible,” Barnhart noted.
What about human studies?
It turns out that Adipotide is not the first drug developed using this research.
The researcher’s original work focused on cutting off the blood supply of prostate cancer cells. During this cancer research they found that “blood vessels are more than a uniform and ubiquitous “pipeline” that serves the circulatory system, but differ depending on the organ or tissue that they support” .
This allowed them to design a method of screening peptides – small bits of proteins – and to identify those that bind to specific vascular cells among the many possible “ZIP codes” present in a human vascular map.
For blood vessels that support fat cells, the target protein is prohibitin, which they found in unusual abundance on the blood vessel cell surface.
Based on this discovery, the researchers are preparing for a clinical trial in which obese prostate cancer patients would receive daily injections of Adipotide for 28 consecutive days.
The goal of the study is to see if their prostate cancer becomes better as their body weight and associated health risks are improved.
Future studies focused solely on weight loss are in the planning stage.
So what does this mean to you?
For now…not a whole heck of a lot.
If Adipotide does turn out to be a miracle weight loss pill, it’s going to be a long time before you’ll be able to get a prescription.
But….it is the first sign of ingenuity I have seen coming from weight loss researchers in a long time.
Kinda funny that they’re actually cancer researchers.