Thyroid Hormone Mimic Causes 50 Percent Fat Loss in Mice in JustTwo Weeks
It is oft said that there is no magic pill for weight loss. However, presentation of some recent research posits that a “magic” weight loss pill is possible as observed in both genetically and diet-induced obese mice that experienced up to 50 percent fat loss in just two weeks when given an experimental drug currently studied for cholesterol lowering.
Research presented at last week’s Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting in San Diego showed that treating obese mice with an experimental drug called “GC-1” - a mimic of a type of thyroid hormone - results in loss of up to 50 percent of their fat mass.
“GC-1 dramatically increases the metabolic rate, essentially converting white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity and metabolic disease, into a fat like calorie-burning brown fat,” said study author Kevin Phillips, PhD, a researcher at Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston.
GC-1 is an interesting synthetic drug that has garnered a lot of interest as a potential drug for selectively inducing a type of hyperthyroidism.
Inducing hyperthyroidism has both its good points and its bad points. The bad part is that hyperthyroidism causes an increased heart rate, increased body temperature, muscle fatigue, osteoporosis and unwanted mood changes. The good part of hyperthyroidism is that it results in reduced circulating cholesterol levels and weight loss, making it a potential treatment for metabolic syndrome and obesity.
In fact, according to a news release by the Endocrine Society, GC-1 works by activating the receptors for thyroid hormone, which play a role in regulating metabolism—the body’s conversion of food into energy. Thyroid hormone receptors also help with adaptive thermogenesis, in which the body converts excess energy (calories and fat) to heat.
The benefit of GC-1 activating the receptors for the thyroid hormone is that it appears to only turn on a specific receptor type called “TR-beta” (Thyroid hormone Receptor-beta) and not another receptor type called “TR-alpha.” This selectivity potentially allows a type of hyperthyroidism that could avoid some of the bad side effects such as the aforementioned increased heart rate. Research is ongoing to determine if GC-1― under the name “sobetirome”―is safe and effective as a cholesterol lowering drug.
However, GC-1’s role may extend into treating obesity according to Dr. Kevin Phillips who discovered that when genetically and diet-induced obese mice were treated with GC-1, that the mice in both groups:
• Lost weight a significant amount of weight involving more than 50 percent of their fat mass in approximately two weeks.
• Demonstrated antidiabetic effects, such as a six-fold improvement or better in insulin sensitivity.
• Showed evidence of white fat to brown fat conversion in tissue samples taken from the obese mice.
“Our data demonstrate that GC-1 is a novel fat-browning agent that may have use in the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease,” Phillips said.
Until GC-1 is made available for weight loss, here is one potential “magic pill” that a celebrity doctor recommends for fighting belly fat. In addition, here is another mouse study that describes how that women may benefit from a new weight control agent that worked in mice.
Reference: Endocrine Society press release― “Experimental Drug Turns “Bad” White Fat into “Good” Brown-Like Fat”