Drug Slims 'Couch Potato' Monkeys

Experimental fat-zapping drug works on chunky monkeys
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2011 8:28 AM CST
Drug Slims 'Couch Potato' Monkeys
Researchers picked the monkeys that ate the most and exercised the least.   (Getty Images)

An experimental weight loss drug helped the fattest, laziest members of a monkey colony lose an average of 11% after just four weeks of treatment—without any forced change in diet or increase in exercise. Researchers behind the drug, following the same strategy used to fight some cancers, designed Adipotide to kill fat cells by destroying the blood vessels that feed them, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The researchers confirmed that the monkeys—which they call the "couch potatoes" of the colony—had shed the white body fat linked to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They hope to begin human trials of the drug within a year. The monkeys began to put on weight again four weeks after they stopped taking the drug. Its creators say that if it works in humans, it should be used as a way to kick-start a diet and exercise program for permanent weight loss. "How energizing would it be to lose 11% that first month," one researcher tells MSNBC. “That’s going to really get you focused." (Read more weight loss stories.)

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