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A new hormone may hold the key to pulling dieters’ metabolisms under control where other efforts have failed. The typical high-fat diets of Westerners may be somewhat curbed by this hormone, MOTS-c, which carries effects that mimic exercise.
The University of Southern California headed up a lab experiment that showed startling results in mice. These mice were fed a high-fat diet and gifted with injections of the MOTS-c hormone, which successfully reversed insulin resistance attributed to the animals’ food intake. Time magazine quotes the study’s author, Dr. Pinchas Cohen, who states, “This represents a major advance in the identification of new treatments for age-related diseases such as diabetes.” Although no studies have yet been conducted on humans or other mammals, scientists involved with the study believe there’s no reason to believe this hormone won’t work on humans too.
How does the MOTS-c work? The hormone zeroes in on muscle tissue to promote insulin sensitivity and allow the body to process sugars more efficiently. The Cell Press reveals how MOTS-c mediates mitochondria (the famed “powerhouses” of cells) to better regulate insulin and move towards metabolic homeostasis. This study identifies mitochondria as the “active regulators of metabolism,” which is a revealing new discovery and pleasant side effect of this experiment.
Trials of MOTS-c, which has been smartly snapped up by a biotechnology company, are expected to begin on humans in the coming years. If all goes well, this hormone could be a promising new treatment for those who suffer from age-related (and diet-related) insulin resistance. And beyond.
Don’t get too excited though. This hormone won’t make anyone ripped and replace true exercise as a form of fitness, which carries greater effects than the obvious physical ones. Furthermore, placing an artificial hormone into one’s body isn’t something one should do without careful consideration of side effects. But considering the detrimental effects of Type 2 diabetes upon health and wellbeing, this treatment could function as a beacon of hope for sufferers of morbid obesity and Type 2 diabetes.