Adjusting intestinal bacteria may reduce obesity

A new drug that may be able to target specific intestinal bacteria could lead to new obesity treatments in humans, according to a journal paper.
Researchers from Penn State and the National Cancer Institute came together for the study and fed mice a high-fat diet so they became overweight.
Some of the lab rats were then given tempol, a drug normally used to help people exposed to excess levels of radiation.
Scientists found obesity rates among the mice dropped substantially and this could lead to future treatments among humans.
However, challenges remain and there are a number of side effects that mean it might be difficult to bring to the market in its current form. One of the worst potential problems faced by those using the treatment could be a higher risk of cancer.
Andrew Patterson, assistant professor of molecular toxicology at Penn State and one of the study’s lead authors, said: “There is a tremendous interest in how the microbiome can be manipulated in a therapeutic way …  we need to look at these microbiome management techniques in a good, unbiased way.”

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