HOUSTON. Texas (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Obesity is becoming a growing epidemic in the US. One in three adults in the United States is considered overweight and more than two in five are obese. Those who are obese have a higher risk for impaired mobility and about 112 thousand deaths are attributed to it every year. But new research reveals that a drug used to control symptoms of ADHD may be able to combat it.
From melting away the fat to helping you lose weight naturally; Americans are spending big bucks on dietary supplements. In fact, they dish out two-point-one billion dollars a year on weight loss pills. However … Qi Wu, PhD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine says, “Many of those sort of dietary supplements for weight control purpose are not scientifically approved.”
But what if researchers can pinpoint what can makes a weightless medication effective? Professor Qu comments, “We’re trying to figure out the neurological mechanisms like how to control that in normal and obesity kind of patients.”
A team of researchers in Texas discovered a novel brain circuit that could potentially signal when to stop eating. Through experiments, they were able to find that a drug called MPH had the ability to activate and regulate this pathway in the brain.
“This drug has been FDA approved for many years and safely used for ADHD and narcolepsy preventative effects.”, states Professor Wu.
And now, MPH may have the ability to suppress the need to overeat. Tackling obesity one bite at a time.
The researchers use mice models to experiment with MPH. They found MPH suppresses feeding and reduces body weight in laboratory mice by strengthening the dopamine-supported novel circuit they discovered.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Bruce Maniscalco, Videographer
ADHD DRUG TO CONTROL OBESITY
BACKGROUND: Obesity is when a person has too much body fat. Not to be confused with the term overweight which means a person weighs too much. This can be due to the amount of muscle, bone, fat, and body water that person has. Either way both terms mean a person’s weight is greater than what is recommended and is considered unhealthy by doctors. Obesity can happen when someone eats more calories than they burn over a long period of time. Although the balance between calories-in and calories-out differs from person to person. Some factors that contribute to obesity are genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods, and not being physically active. Obesity can lead to heart diseases, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers. If someone who has obesity can lose five to ten percent of their weight, it can delay or prevent some of these conditions.
THE STUDY: The most recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that a third of adults in the United States ages 20 and older are obese. That is over 100 million people. The increase in obesity is not just limited to adults but also children. Children that fall in the age ranges of six to 11 have increased in obesity by 18 percent and in 12 to 19 year olds it has increased by 21 percent. Obesity can have substantial implications on American lives. It comes with conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, sleep apnea, and may others. In 2020 there was a national health objective to decrease the amount of obesity among adults by ten percent. The current data has indicated that the obesity situation is not improving. Obesity is not necessarily a permanent condition. It can be helped or prevented with diet, exercise, medications, or even surgery.
(Source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gim/research/content/obesity.html, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/health-effects/)
TREATMENT: In cases where the individual is unable to lose any weight or keep from regaining it the doctor might consider putting the patient on weight-loss medications, weight-loss devices, or surgery. There was a study on adult obese men taking methylphenidate to reduce energy intake. It showed that out of the nine participants that took methylphenidate, or MPH it reduced energy intake of highly palatable foods over one meal by one third. The participants reduced energy by 23 percent for the moderate does vs. the placebo, and the participants that consumed the lowest effective does consume 34 percent fewer kilocalories compared to the placebo. The MPH drug increases brain synaptic dopamine and produces and anorexia effect.
(Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14981214/#:~:text=Discussion%3A%20Methylphenidate%20reduced%20energy%20intake,a%20comprehensive%20treatment%20for%20obesity., https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/adult-overweight-obesity/treatment)
* For More Information, Contact:
Qi Wu, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
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