Sydney: ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor captopril (CAP), a drug commonly used for the treatment of hypertension and cardiac conditions, can reduce the weight of mice even on a high fat diet, says a new study.
Initially, mice were put on a high fat diet for 12 weeks to develop obesity. During the following 12-week treatment period, they were given a high fat diet and either water containing CAP or plain tap water (the control).
"From the first week of treatment, food intake and body weight decreased in the mice treated with CAP compared with the control mice (which took plain water)," said Shirmila Premaratna, from La Trobe`s Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering, who led the study.
Previously studies have shown that treatment with CAP prevented diet-induced obesity in rats and mice. However, this new research has extended those findings by showing that CAP treatment could also reverse diet-induced obesity, reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity, according to a university statement.
"Weight loss was maintained throughout the treatment period of the study in mice, in addition, CAP improved peripheral insulin sensitivity (greater capacity to lower blood sugars) and decreased the rate of storing fat and glucose in the liver," said Premaratna.
Obesity is becoming a major epidemic of the 21st century, with approximately 1.6 billion adults worldwide overweight and 400 million fulfilling the obesity criteria.
Obesity is associated with a number of other diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.