Friday, August 1, 2008

AICAR, protect against gaining weight on a high fat diet

AICAR experiments suggest that it might protect against gaining weight on a high-fat diet, which might make it useful for treating obesity, Evans said. But it would have to be taken for a long time, he said, so its safety in people would have to be assured.

Experts who study muscle agreed that a drug like AICAR may prove useful someday in treating obesity and diabetes. Many drug companies are working on such drugs in diabetes because in animals, AICAR stimulates muscles to remove sugar from the blood, noted Laurie Goodyear of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.People who can't exercise because of a medical condition like joint pain or heart failure might also benefit from such a drug, experts said.

But Eric Hoffman of the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., noted that AICAR mimics only aerobic exercise, not the strength training that might be more useful to bedridden people or the elderly, for example. He also cautioned that it's not clear whether the new mouse results can be reproduced in people.Goodyear said exercise has such widespread benefits in the body that she doubts any one pill will ever be able to supply all of them. "For the majority of people," she said, "it would be better to do exercise than to take a pill."

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