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Tags: weight | loss | drug | leptin

New Weight-loss Drug Proves Effective

Monday, 30 July 2012 11:43 AM EDT

Scientists have developed a new drug they say can help overweight and obese people shed pounds and maintain healthier weight.
The drug, described in the journal Cell Metabolism, has been found to increase sensitivity to the hormone leptin, a natural appetite suppressant found in the body. Although it has only been tested on mice, the findings have significant implications for the development of new treatments for obesity in humans, researchers said.
"By sensitizing the body to naturally occurring leptin, the new drug could not only promote weight loss, but also help maintain it," said lead researcher George Kunos of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "This finding bodes well for the development of a new class of compounds for the treatment of obesity and its metabolic consequences."
Although leptin has long been known to curb appetite, supplements containing the hormone alone have not been effective at reducing body weight in humans. Scientists believe this may be because the body becomes desensitized to the hormone.
But the new drug compound – identified as JD5037 – was found to block that desensitization, boosting leptin’s ability to curb appetite in overweight people over the long term.
Researchers found JD5037 suppressed the appetite of obese mice, caused weight loss, and even improved metabolic health, in part by resensitizing mice to leptin.
"Obesity is a growing public health problem, and there is a strong need for new types of medications to treat obesity and its serous metabolic complications, including diabetes and fatty liver disease," says Kunos.

© HealthDay

Scientists have developed a new drug they say can help overweight and obese people shed pounds.
Monday, 30 July 2012 11:43 AM
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