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This Surprising Drug May Help You Scorch Fat, New Study Suggests

New research suggests a type of drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease could help prevent obesity.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED Clipboard BY Cedrina Calder, MD, MSPH

Oftentimes pills that are marketed as "fat-blasting" are a gimmick and aren't worth your money. Fat loss is most often achieved through exercises that fall under the high-intensity umbrella (think HIIT). Lifting weights can also help you tone up and may expedite fat loss as well.

However, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have discovered that a drug originally designed to treat Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and sick cell disease can stimulate cells in mice so that they burn more fat.

RELATED: The #1 Best Drink for Fat Loss, According to a Dietitian

The findings, which were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, revealed that a chemical inhibitor of an enzyme known as PDE9 promoted fat loss in male mice. Female mice who had undergone simulated menopause also experienced fat loss when given the drug.

Knowing that postmenopausal women are at increased risk of obesity, especially around their waistline, researchers removed the ovaries in female mice in an effort to mimic the hormonal changes that occur during menopause. Oddly enough, female mice who still had their ovaries and were administered the drug didn't experience the same kind of cell stimulation. This indicated to researchers that sex hormones play a pivotal role in the efficacy of the chemical inhibitor.

"Currently, there isn't a pill that has been proven effective for treating severe obesity, yet such obesity is a global health problem that increases the risk of many other diseases," senior investigator David Kass, M.D., Abraham and Virginia Weiss Professor of Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said in a statement.

"What makes our findings exciting is that we found an oral medication that activates fat-burning in mice to reduce obesity and fat buildup in organs like the liver and heart that contribute to disease; this is new."

Of course, clinical studies will be needed to see if the drug can elicit a similar effect in humans, but the preliminary work appears to be promising. For more tips on how you can scorch belly fat now, be sure to read Eating Habits to Avoid if You Don't Want Belly Fat, Say Dietitians. Then, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of <Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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