July 8, 2020 by No Comments

Good news! Researchers at Virginia Tech have identified a molecule that can help burn fat in the body without the need for increased exercise. The molecule is a mitochondrial uncoupler named BAM15, that has decreased the body fat of mice without affecting food, muscle mass, or body temperature. The molecule works by changing the metabolism inside the cell, which allows for the host to burn more calories without exercise. BAM15 has proven to be even more encouraging to researchers as it has shown no toxicity – even at high doses in mice. Previous attempts at an “anti-fat” drug worked by signalling to the brain that the stomach was full. This failed in practice because there was a significant relapse to bad eating habits once off the drug. In this study the BAM15 mice ate the same amount as the control group, and were still able to lose fat.  
Why is this good?
According to the article, obesity affects more than 40% of the adult population in the US, and 13% worldwide. Obesity is more than just having higher body fat; there are several common conditions that can prove far more dangerous. Complications from obesity include: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, stroke, and high cholesterol. There needs to be a few tweaks before testing BAM15 (or a variation of it) in humans, for instance the half life of the molecule needs to be lengthened to be effective, but understanding how it works has bred optimism for a future treatment. 

Source:  Virginia Tech Full Story
Daniels, Kendall, ¬†Virginia Tech. “‘Fat burning’ molecule has implications for treatment of obesity.” 8 June 2020¬†