Weight Loss Research

Weight loss research is becoming ever more important in American society as both social pressures and poor health are quietly becoming an epidemic. American culture sets a double standard for its citizens by glorifying skinny well-toned people and also by being saturated with fast-food restaurants and the hurried sense that there isn’t enough time to eat healthy. It is essential to be well informed on these issues as there are many dangerous diets and drugs on the market promising no effort healthiness. There are three main mechanisms of action that cause weight loss drugs to work, some limitation, to our current knowledge, and some future developments on the horizon.

Three main mechanisms weight loss drugs use to cause weight loss are: suppressing the appetite, increasing the metabolism, and altering the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients and foodstuffs. Some drugs simply work by blocking the transmission of certain neurotransmitters which cause hunger. Other drugs increase the body’s metabolism causing it burn calories, fat, at a much higher rate than normal. The last category works in a variety of novel ways including blocking the body’s ability to break down fats resulting in the body’s inability to absorb fat. All these drugs work with varying degrees of efficacy and safety and should never be used without consulting a medical professional. The current stumbling block weight loss research has hit is simply that eating food is a biological function and the storage of excess food, or fat, also serves the function of ensuring extra food stores in times of scarcity. It would be quite dangerous to entirely suppress appetite, but how do we help people manage a healthy weight? The best current research suggests that a multi-angled approach is best. Instead of attempting to use only one of the three mechanisms mentioned it would be better to more moderately attack all three. A dedicated regimen can be tweaked and tuned to eventually match the best dosages for a given patients particular biology.

One promising line of research that is currently in development is ribonucleic acid interference. Some animal studies have indicated that by deleting the gene RIP140 animals remained toned throughout life even when fed high fat diets. Other potential medications pair lipase-inhibitors with certain polymers that bind undigested triglycerides in order to increase the body’s fat excretion. There is also an Italian researcher who is working on a new hydrogel diet pill which soaks up 1,000 times its weight in water. The body soon flushes this out in a matter of hours. These are but a few of the interesting lines of weight loss research being investigated today. While our knowledge of weight loss regimes grows, it becomes ever harder to discover a safe healthy method of losing weight. The most important thing a person can do is to simply maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime. Although some people do need extra help and should be very cautious about using any drug or diet without counsel from a medical health professional. Over the counter drugs are not recommended methods of losing weight either, unless as advised by a doctor. The future may bring many wonders to light that will help all people lead healthier more balanced lifestyles, but until then be cautious of anything that seems too good to be true.