A Medication for an Eye Problem May Solve Obesity

Recently, experts from Yale University in the US identified a couple of genes that are able to deactivate special cells in the small intestine, in particular those that permit fat molecules to get into the bloodstream.

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Scientists experimented on laboratory mice by eliminating the said genes. Afterwards, they were fed with a high-fat diet for 8 weeks. Lo and behold — after 8 weeks they didn’t gain weight despite of a diet that’s sure to cause obesity, while other laboratory mice that didn’t undergo the same gene modification rapidly gained weight during the experimentation period.

Unfortunately, such gene modification conducted on those laboratory mice cannot be done on humans, in particular those who wish to put an end to their bout of obesity. Well, there is a currently-existing drug that can in fact close those fat molecule-absorbing cells situated in the small intestine, and it’s none other than something that is prescribed by eye specialists to individuals who are suffering from glaucoma.

But before we check out how such drug can help deal with obesity, let’s first focus our attention on glaucoma.

Put simply, glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve — the nerve that sends message from the eyes to the brain and vice versa — as a result of increased pressure in the eye due to the buildup of fluid that the eye itself produces, and it’s referred to as the aqueous humor.

Glaucoma, according to eye experts, is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Some people are at higher risk of developing glaucoma. They include those who are over 40 years of age, with a family history of glaucoma, have had an injury to the eye, and suffering from migraines, diabetes and high blood pressures.

There is no known treatment for glaucoma, although its progression can be put under control by means of the administration of eye drops and/or oral medications. Other that eye drops and orally-taken medications, glaucoma is also sometimes remedied via surgery — it can be done with the use of either a scalpel or laser.

Now that you are acquainted with glaucoma, it’s time for us to know the reason why a drug approved for managing glaucoma may be the magic pill that people who are obese have long been searching for.

As a result of the breakthrough obtained by experts from Yale University, they looked for drugs that could actually cause the deactivation of those fat-absorbing cells in the small intestine. What they found out was there’s actually a drug for humans that replicated the very same action, and it’s something that’s meant for glaucoma patients.

In other words, the administration of the said glaucoma drug may encourage weight loss by preventing fat in the food consumed from being absorbed by certain cells in the small intestines — fat is simply removed from the body via the anus. What makes the intake of such drug so exciting is the fact that an obese individual doesn’t really have to alter his or her diet just to make those excess pounds go away.

So should you get a prescription drug for glaucoma so that you may start having the figure of your dreams without having to steer clear of fatty foods? Not so fast, say scientists.

The problem with this newly discovered probable way of effectively dealing with the epidemic referred to as obesity is that not enough researches have been conducted on it. For instance, scientists do not really know the long-term effect of preventing the small intestine from absorbing fat molecules. The trafficking of the various immune cells may be affected in the process, too, scientists say.

However, the good news is that scientists are given an idea on looking for a way to put an end to obesity in an entirely new approach.

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