A solution to obesity in the form of a pill is on the horizon, according to researchers from the University of Michigan, USA.

Scientists from Ann Arbor have been studying a hormone formed in the liver called TSK, or Tsukushi, which prevents the body from burning fat and therefore making people who carry it, predisposed to obesity and being overweight.

While scientists already understand the systems our bodies use to balance energy and calorie consumption, there is still a grey area when it comes to energy expenditure. 

How the hormone alters our metabolism

‘The question that we set out to answer,’ said Dr Jiandie Lin, senior study author,  “ is, how does the body sense rapid depletion of energy, and how does it tell the brain to adjust the body’s metabolism and maintain homeostasis?”

The University team began by monitoring the weight of two sets of lab mice, one of which carried the TSK hormone. Researchers noticed that when the mice were burning more energy, for example, when they were in cold temperatures, those carrying TSK experienced a slowing down of their metabolism.

Produced by the liver, TSK production works as a way of dampening energy exposure. In experiments, this resulted in mice without the hormone losing more weight and burning more energy than those with TSK.

“We think that TSK is somehow dampening energy expenditure,” said Lin. “When there is a rapid loss of energy, it puts a brake on metabolism. If we remove this brake, our prediction was that the mice would have accelerated burning of calories. And that turned out to be the case.”

TSK doubles weight-gain

Another experiment looked at feeding both sets of mice a high-fat diet; the results showed a smaller weight gain for those without the hormone (30%) compared to those with the hormone doubling their weight.

The team reported seeing an all-round improvement for those without the hormone with ‘substantial protection against obesity’ as well as ‘better glucose levels, reduced lipids and reduced fatty liver,’ saidlead author Qiuyu Wang.

Further plans for the researchers include examining any links between TSK and brown-fat as well as investigating the production of pills to block TSK’s metabolism braking effect.

Other weight loss options

While the future for an anti-obesity pill is a way off, there are other methods to help you lose weight. As obesity levels continue to rise, health officials continue to warn people about the risks of being severely overweight.

Obesity is known to be a significant risk factor in Type 2 Diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and certain forms of cancer.

Healthy eating and exercise is a great way to start losing weight with patients noticing some immediate benefits that come from looking after their body. However, if you have a large amount of weight to lose exercising and dieting is far from easy. You might feel that a procedure is the best way to kickstart your weight loss. 

The team at Cosmos Clinic have undertaken thousands of liposuction techniques. We offer various forms of liposuction, depending on your circumstances and how much weight there is to lose. VaserLiposuction, for example, uses an ultrasound probe to melt fat and has a fast recovery time. A treatment such as Mega Liposuction can remove a large volume of fat (up to 15L).

Please get in contact to discuss the options and to arrange a consultation.