Move over, Ozempic. Researchers have developed a drug that mirrors the results of exercise, and in turn, can lead to weight loss.
It sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it? But scientists have found a drug that can do just that.
Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a new drug known as SLU-PP-332, which they claim does all of the above.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
In studies performed on obese mice, they found the drug tricked the animals’ bodies into thinking they were exercising more, when in fact they hadn’t changed their fitness regimens.
“This compound is basically telling skeletal muscle to make the same changes you see during endurance training,” Thomas Burris, a professor who led the research, told Eureka.
“When you treat mice with the drug, you can see that their whole body metabolism turns to using fatty acids, which is very similar to what people use when they are fasting or exercising,” Burris added. “And the animals start losing weight.”
Burris and his team medicated the mice twice a day for a month, which caused them to lose 12 per cent of their body weight. Incredibly, the mice didn’t alter their diets and didn’t exercise any more than usual.
“They use more energy just living,” he said.
What does this discovery mean? Well, in a time when Ozempic is being touted as the best way to drop weight without lifting a finger, SLU-PP-332 could be a direct competitor – and in more ways than one.
Researchers believe it could have the potential to treat diabetes, obesity and age-related muscle loss.
“This may be able to keep people healthier as they age,” Burris said.
But it will be some time before it hits the market. SLU-PP-332 will need to be refined and ideally converted into pill form instead of an injection. It will also need to be trialled on other animals, and then eventually humans.
What are the chances of it hitting the market?
Eureka reported, „Other exercise mimetics have been tested, but none have made it to market, in part because it takes years to develop a new drug.“
According to the publication, traditionally, weight loss-targeted drugs were tricky to get through drug regulators because of „how complex obesity is“. But the likes of Ozempic and Wegovy have changed that and led to more research.
„This development led to a surge of interest, research, and funding for drugs that could treat these metabolic diseases through different biological pathways.“