As the world’s biggest health & fitness nerd, I read dozens of research papers every day…looking for any new ideas that could help my clients, readers and social media followers transform themselves into healthier, fitter, stronger, better versions of themselves.
Today…I came across one of the weirdest studies related to body weight and fat storage that I have ever seen.
Entitled “The Skinny on Cocaine: insights into eating behavior and body weight in cocaine-dependent men”, the study was designed to confirm or debunk the general assumption that weight loss associated with cocaine is due to its appetite suppressing properties.
The researchers recruited 65 male volunteers, half cocaine users and the other half non-users. Eating behaviour, food intake, body composition and plasma leptin levels were measured. And although the cocaine users reported…
- Significantly higher levels of dietary fat consumption
- Significantly higher levels of dietary carbohydrate consumption
- Patterns of uncontrolled eating
…their body fat mass was significantly lower than the non-cocaine users.
They also found that the levels of the hormone leptin were lower in cocaine users and trended lower as the duration of the user’s stimulant use increased. This decrease in plasma leptin together with a high fat diet suggests an impaired energy balance, which typically leads to weight gain rather than weight loss.
Because of these surprising new findings, the researchers believe that regular cocaine abuse directly interferes with metabolic processes and thereby reduces body fat.
For addicts looking to kick their coke habit, this explains why they are prone to significant weight gain when they stop using cocaine.
But what about all those dieters desperate to drop some significant weight?
Do they wait a decade or more for Big Pharma to jump all over this research and start investigating a new pathway towards that elusive safe & effective weight loss drug?
Or do they try to self-modify their metabolism with a little Bolivian marching powder?