Discover the anti-obesity molecule that mimics the benefits of exercise

It’s called Lac-Phe, and it’s a molecule that can fight obesity by reducing food intake and feeling hungry. And you may not even need to go to the gym anymore. Goodbye diet? It’s no joke, it’s all true, say two researchers from the most prestigious American universities. In fact, this interesting perspective was explained by scientists from Baylor College of Medicine and Stanford School of Medicine, who published an article in Nature to announce the results of their work. The team led by Yong Shu used a mouse model to assess the effects of the molecule.

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Diet, discovery of the molecule that can fight obesity

“It has been shown that physical exercise can aid weight loss – says Shaw – by understanding the mechanism by which physical activity brings about these benefits, we can help many people find their shape quickly and without excessive exertion.” For now, studies are in the lab rat stage, but — as often happens when testing a new drug — good results in animal trials are a step ahead of that in humans.

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Playing sports

From experiments, Lac-Phe significantly reduces food intake and obesity in guinea pigs. And according to scientists, it could also replace people’s need to go to the gym.

Regular exercise has been shown to help lose weight, regulate appetite and improve metabolism, especially for people who are overweight and obesesays Professor Yong Shu. If we can understand the mechanism by which exercise leads to these benefits, we are closer to helping many people improve their health..

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This information, experts comment, improves knowledge about the physiological processes underlying the interaction between physical exercise and the sensation of hunger. “There are individuals who just don’t have a way to get enough exercise or fitness,” adds Jonathan Long, fellow and co-author of Xu. “For example, elderly or frail people can benefit from taking a drug that helps fight osteoporosis, heart disease, and a number of problem conditions.” The findings, published in the official journal Nature, also shed new light on the links between exercise and feeling hungry. We all know exercise is good for you. Helps control body weight and glucoseLong lasting But we wanted to delve into the concept in more detail: We wanted to see if we could dissect exercise in terms of molecules and pathways..

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Scientists analyzed the blood plasma of mice after intense running on a treadmill. From here, an amino acid called Lac-Phe was identified, a compound from lactate, a byproduct associated with intense exercise, responsible for the burning sensation in muscles, and from phenylalanine, a building block of protein. The examined rodents, all of whom were obese, followed a diet high in fat but with a high dose of Lac-Phe that led them to reduce their food intake by 50%. No side effects on motility nor on energy expenditure were observed. Not only. The benefits continue. After 10 days of taking Lac-Phe, the guinea pigs were less hungry and showed lower body fat as well as better glucose tolerance.

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Effects on the brain

The team also found significant increases in plasma Lac-Phe levels after physical activity in racehorses and humans. This indicates that Lac-Phe is an ancient mechanism that regulates nutrition and is associated with physical activity in many animal speciesLong says. Our next steps include understanding how Lac-Phe mediates its effects in the body, including the brainProfessor Shaw concludes. This may lead to the development of pills that can be used directly to suppress appetite for people who cannot exercise easily due to other conditions, aging, or orthopedic problems. We have just applied for a patent in hopes of using this knowledge to treat human diseases like obesity.

Experts also identified CNDP2, an enzyme involved in the production of Lac-Phe. In fact, mice with low levels of this enzyme did not lose the same amount of weight despite their strict exercise pattern. “These first findings, Xu concludes, are really interesting. Our goal is to find out how to modify these compounds in order to provide the body with the same benefits associated with physical activity.”

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