McMaster Researchers Achieve Breakthrough in Obesity Treatment


Through trials with dieting mice, a university team discovered that a known appetite-suppressing hormone also had energy-burning characteristics.

McMaster University researchers have identified a crucial process that supports sustained weight loss while dieting.

Two sets of laboratory mice were put on a diet by a team from Mac led by post-doctoral scholar Dongdong Wang and medicine professor Dr. Gregory Steinberg. A hormone known to reduce hunger, GDF15, was administered into one group of rodents but not the other. All consumed the equal volume of calories.

The research, published on Wednesday in science journal Nature, indicates the hormone was “preventing the slowdown” of metabolism during dieting, said Steinberg.

The mice lost the same amount of weight throughout the first two weeks, demonstrating that “reduction in food intake was the main driver,” according to Steinberg.

He added that the mice also maintained muscle mass, another difficulty for dieters, saying that the hormone must be promoting calorie burning while also decreasing appetite.

Given that the hormone has been researched for almost a decade, scientists were “amazed” that it had taken so long for a discovery to be made, believes Steinberg.

“It was really surprising,” he said of the results. Additional experiments were conducted to rule out other variables, like certain genes.

Further research is required to confirm the findings in humans, he said in a release.

With the buzz around Ozempic and other weight-loss drugs, the truth about obesity are coming into public focus — “it’s not a choice, it’s a disease,” Steinberg said.

“It’s an exciting time for obesity research,” he said.

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