Temperature Mimetics: A New Class of Drugs for Weight Loss and a Longer Life Span

The path to losing weight is a strenuous journey that most of the world’s population takes. There are many different ways of losing weight, like exercising, different types of diet like keto or vegan diet, and calorie cutting. Each method of weight loss has its own risks and benefits, with benefits outweighing the risks by multiple folds.

Losing Weight

Losing Weight

An important note to keep in mind when trying to lose weight is that the weight loss process should be slow and gradual. Fast and drastic weight loss can result in serious health consequences which would make maintenance of weight loss extremely difficult.

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Calorie Cutting: An efficient method for weight loss

Calorie Cutting or caloric reduction has been labeled as one of the best and healthiest ways to lose weight if done properly. In a 2016 evidence-based study, researchers found that individuals who attempted to follow a strict cardio and workout program along with calorie-cutting lost approximately 3.3 kgs more than those who just followed the exercise program, proving it to be extremely beneficial.

A normal healthy adult must intake a minimum of 1300 calories per day to not experience starvation and malnutrition. That’s the lowest baseline that can be set for people trying to lose weight using caloric reduction. If calorie reduction is any lower than this, there can be serious health consequences.

Apart from weight loss, the reduction of calorie intake is extremely beneficial in the long run resulting in a longer life span and prevention of serious conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s.

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The working mechanism of calorie-conserving

When a person applies the principle of calorie cutting and keeps track of the number of calories consumed, the body starts to conserve energy when enough food is not consumed. This is an evolutionary mechanism to preserve energy until more food is made available. This conservation of energy results in a decreased body temperature which has been associated as an additional benefit of calorie cutting.

A new study by the Scripps Research Professors Bruno Conti, Ph.D., and Gary Siuzdak, Ph.D., and their teams have shown benefits of the temperature drop in the longer health span and weight loss associated with calorie reduction.

The initial works of Professor Conti couldn’t definitely conclude if the benefits of calorie cutting were due to the actual caloric reduction or due to the temperature drop, or a mixture of both. His study could, however, conclude that temperature drop can increase the life span, independent of caloric reduction.

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The Study by Conti and Siuzdak

In the new study headed by Conti and Siuzdak, the researchers aimed to answer the questions Conti’s initial study couldn’t answer. They studied two groups of mice, both undergoing caloric reduction but one group was exposed to room temperature while the other group was exposed to a warmer temperature.

The researchers then studied the effects of temperature on these mice and found that temperature has an effect on metabolism, independent of caloric reduction. The team lead by Siuzdak measured the metabolites in the bloodstream and the brain using their own technology called activity metabolomics. The aim was to find metabolites that were changed due to reduced calories or decreased temperature.

According to another experiment performed by the researchers, the metabolites that were responsible for the change in body temperature were applied in the form of a drug to help reduce weight and induce the associated health benefits of reduced temperature.  This class of drugs, the “temperature mimetics” could be the next groundbreaking discovery for weight loss, although more research and studies need to be performed before they can be approved as a drug.

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Metabolic adaptation to calorie restriction

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