Managing obesity is not an easy task; however, a group of researchers found out the ultimate solution to solve this worldwide problem! Read about it!
Today more than 100 million children and 600 million obese adults live around the world. Figures that, in addition and according to experts warn, will continue to grow unstoppable in the coming years.
And it is that despite the continuous recommendations of medical societies, the population is not in for it. They refuse adopting healthier living habits, especially in the case of practicing exercise and following a diet.
So what can you do for managing obesity? Because the simplest, as well as the most comfortable, seems to be having effective drugs to control weight.
And now, researchers could have found the key to begin developing them.
Researchers hope their findings will ultimately lead to the development of drugs. They would act on thyroid hormones as a way to reduce a person’s appetite. Thus, they’ll help people in controlling their weight and managing obesity.
So far, they have not been able to act on these hormones without causing a large number of side effects. But in their work they have been very specific about target hormones, which should significantly reduce potential adverse effects.
It is very interesting to see where these findings will lead them in the future fight against obesity.
Thyroid hormone receptors are throughout the body and interact with circulating thyroid hormones to regulate various functions, such as body temperature, nervous system activity, or cholesterol levels. As well as the appetite, a function that specifically thyroid hormone receptors located in a brain region called the ‘hypothalamus’ perform.
This is so that the use of drugs that act on these receptors, so common throughout the body, can be very harmful.
But what if you can only act on those in the hypothalamus? Would they control appetite?
To answer this question, the researchers used 21 mice with an approximate weight of 20 grams. And what they did was inject 10 of these animals a virus to inactivate thyroid hormone receptors in their brains.
Thus, once the virus had proven its effect, the authors allowed all animals to eat everything they wanted.
The results showed that mice in which thyroid hormone receptors were inactivated ate much, much more than their homonyms, to the extent that they doubled their body size and reached an average weight of 40 grams in just six weeks.
In contrast, animals that were not given the virus maintained a stable weight around 20 grams.
The results show that the use of drugs that act specifically and locally on a receptor in a correct area of the brain can alter appetite in animal models without causing any other side effects. A possibility that could be applied in the future in humans, in which a drug could decrease appetite by activating the thyroid hormone receptors in the hypothalamus, came up. All this without inducing any effect on other parts of the body.
Still have to wait
Studies have shown that people whose thyroid hormone receptors have “diminished” activity usually have a higher rate of obesity than the rest of the population.
Therefore, the development of drugs capable of specifically altering the levels of activity of these receptors is a very promising way for managing obesity pandemic. However, we still have to wait.
Given the justifiably long and complex process of drug development, we have to wait. We still have to wait long enough to obtain any possible treatment that may derive from the results.
However, the strength of their findings, as well as the doubling in body size of these mice, show that it is worthwhile to continue investigating the role of thyroid hormones and their receptors in the fight against obesity.
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