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Molecules reducing appetite in mice may lead to ‘benefits of exercise in a pill,’ scientists say

Scientists have identified a mouse molecule that they say reduces food intake and obesity. This is an advance that may one day offer some of the benefits of exercising in the form of tablets.

In this study, scientists, including scientists at Baylor Medical College in the United States, conducted a comprehensive analysis of plasma compounds in mice after intense treadmill running.

Studies published in the journal Nature Last week, we found that a modified amino acid called Lac-Phe was the most significantly induced molecule in post-exercise mice.

“Regular exercise has been shown to help with weight loss, appetite regulation, and improved metabolic profile, especially for people who are overweight or obese,” said the study’s co-author, Baylor’s Pediatric Nutrition and Molecular. Said in a statement by Yong Xu, a professor of cell biology.

“If we can understand the mechanism by which exercise causes these benefits, we will be closer to helping many people improve their health,” said Dr. Xu.

According to scientists, the Lac-Phe molecule is synthesized from lactic acid, a by-product of strenuous exercise that causes a burning sensation in muscles, and the amino acid phenylalanine, a component of the protein.

Researchers found that in diet-induced obese mice, high doses of Lac-Phe reduced food intake by approximately 50% over 12 hours compared to control mice without affecting exercise or energy expenditure. discovered.

After 10 days of administration of Lac-Phe to mice, they say the molecule reduced cumulative food intake and weight, reduced body fat, and improved glucose tolerance.

The study also identified an enzyme called CNDP2 that is involved in the production of Lac-Phe.

It was found that mice lacking this enzyme did not lose as much weight with exercise therapy as the controls with the same exercise plan.

Scientists have also discovered a “strong rise” in plasma Lac-Phe levels following racehorse and human physical activity.

According to researchers, sprint exercise evoked the most dramatic increase in plasma Lac-Phe, followed by strength training and endurance training.

“This suggests that Lac-Phe is an old and conserved system that regulates feeding and is associated with physical activity in many animal species,” said study co-author Jonathan Long. Stated in a statement.

In further research, scientists want to understand more about how Lac-Phe mediates its effects in the body, including the brain.

“For example, older people and frail people who do not exercise well may one day benefit from taking medications that help delay osteoporosis, heart disease, or other conditions,” Long said. The doctor explained.

“Our goal is to learn to coordinate this motor pathway for therapeutic intervention,” Dr. Xu added.

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