They say losing weight is simple: just increase physical activity and reduce caloric intake. A recent Study Finds article discussed an innovative new pill that aims to help with the process. Researchers at Stanford Medicine and Baylor University have identified a molecule that prevents hunger after exercising. After successful tests in mice showed that the compound dramatically reduced food intake and obesity in mice, the team is hopeful the drug could one day replace the need for exercise to lose weight.
Exercise has been proven to initiate weight loss, regulate appetite, and improve metabolic activity. The researchers set out to better understand the mechanism that links exercise to these benefits by dissecting exercise in terms of molecules and pathways. After analyzing blood plasma from mice after intense treadmill running, they found a modified amino acid called Lac-Phe, a molecule synthesized from lactate and phenylalanine, was most significantly induced. In studies, mice who were fed a high-fat diet and given a high dose of Lac-Phe reduced their food intake over a period of 12 hours by half compared to the control rodents. They also identified an enzyme called CNDP2 that’s involved in Lac-Phe production.