A drug de­rived from the cap­saicin in chilli pep­pers could help fight obe­sity

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CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT? BLAME YOUR BAC­TE­RIA

It’s well es­tab­lished that diet and ex­er­cise are key to los­ing weight, but gut bac­te­ria may also play an im­por­tant role, a study at Mayo Clinic in the US has found. A pre­lim­i­nary trial in­volv­ing 26 par­tic­i­pants en­rolled in the clinic’s obe­sity treat­ment scheme has found marked, con­sis­tent dif­fer­ences be­tween the gut bac­te­ria of in­di­vid­u­als who lost weight and those who didn’t.

ANTI-OBE­SITY DRUG DE­RIVED FROM CHILLI

A drug based on cap­saicin, the com­pound that gives chill­ies their spicy burn, has trig­gered long-term weight loss in mice eat­ing a high fat diet, a study at the Uni­ver­sity of Wy­oming has found. When fed Metabocin, a drug de­signed to slowly re­lease cap­saicin through­out the day, mice burned white fat cells rather than stor­ing them, re­sult­ing in weight loss and im­proved meta­bolic health.

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