There’s a new drug that’s based on capsaicin, which is what makes the chili peppers spicy. This one is believed to cause weight loss and to improve the metabolism in mice that only eat a high-fat diet.
The drug is called Metabocin and was made to released capsaicin slowly for the whole day in order to apply the anti-obesity effect, without actually giving any side effects or inflammation.
There were improvements in blood sugar and in the cholesterol levels, just as in the insulin response and signs of a fat-liver disease.
The team behind Metabocin developed the drug (which is taken orally) to find the receptors called TRPV 1 (short for transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily 1) which can be found in the fat cells. If the TRPV1 receptors are stimulated, the white fat cells will start to burn energy rather than storing it, the thing that will lead to weight loss.
Will it be helpful in the long term?
The interesting question is, however, if the drug will remain beneficial in the long term, and if the adverse effects will overshadow its benefits. The mice stayed on the same drug for eight months, and they lost weight without having their safety at risk. They will do other researches to see if they can maintain the drug for as long as they can.
It sure seems that mice made friends with the drug. If everything works out perfectly, it could help people who struggle with obesity.
However, people will start to believe that they’ll lose weight if they eat more spicy food, but that’s not the case, as the capsaicin from the spicy food does not get absorbed well in the body, so there won’t be any effects. Metabocin was specifically modified to absorb the fat properly.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca