“The red wine weight loss wonder drug that lets you eat junk food” is the headline that caught my eye. Unfortunately it’s on the Daily Mail website (apparently one of the most visited websites in the UK). UK readers will know all about the Daily Mail, I’d prefer to read ANY other paper than the Daily Mail, even the Guardian! Luckily I can retail my “street cred” by saying I found this story thanks to my RSS feed from Digg.com.
The wonder drug “resveratrol” is found in grape skins and is the reason for a lot of the “red wine is good for you” articles you may see online.
Previous studies have endowed resveratrol with the ability to ward off a host of ills, from old age to heart disease, cancer, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists (those crazy guys) have created a new drug from resveratrol called SRT1720 (catchy name!) which is apparently more powerful and has less side effects.
For dedicated couch potatoes, it sounds almost too good to be true.
A drug inspired by red wine could allow them to eat as much junk food as they like without putting on a pound.
It could also provide the benefits of exercise without moving a muscle. And if that were not enough, the pill – which mimics the action of resveratrol, the ‘wonder ingredient’ in red wine – may also prevent diabetes.
The man-made drug, which is known only as SRT1720, fools the body into thinking food is scarce and it has to burn off fat to survive.
The brainchild of scientists at US firm Sirtris, the drug exploits the healthy qualities of resveratrol, a chemical found in grape skins…
…In experiments, mice given SRT1720 didn’t gain an ounce, despite being fed fatty foods. Blood tests suggested they were also protected against diabetes.
The treated animals also had more stamina and were able to run twice as far. However, they had to be forced to exercise.
Left to their own devices, they would move around less than normal, the journal Cell Metabolism reports…
…Both resveratrol and the new drug trigger a protein called SIRT1 that plays a key role in regulating the body’s supply of energy.
The result is that the body burns off its fat stores, even when food is plentiful…
…He added that the drug, which is around seven years from the market, is likely to be used to treat obesity and diabetes.
Prof Ian Broom, an obesity expert from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said any drug that burnt off fat while protecting against diabetes would be welcomed.
But he cautioned that much more research – including studies into side-effects – would be needed before SRT1720 became accepted as a treatment for obesity.
Well, considering the fact that the story is in the Daily Mail I think we can take this with a pinch of salt. For the moment I think I’ll stick to drinking red wine!