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A new weapon in the fight against obesity and diabetes
Date:11/4/2008

This press release is available in French.

A study appearing November 5 in the journal Cell Metabolism demonstrates that a synthetic new chemical entity protects against diet-induced obesity, improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and enhances exercise endurance by enhancing fat utilization in certain target tissues.

The new chemical entity was developed by Sirtris, a a GSK company, and the research study was led by EPFL professor Johan Auwerx, MD.

Reducing calorie consumption by about 20% has been shown to slow down the aging process, improve endurance and protect against diet-induced obesity and metabolic diseases such as diabetes. A year ago, researchers demonstrated that these metabolic benefits can also occur with large doses of resveratrol, a substance naturally occurring in red wine. Researchers hypothesized that these beneficial effects result from activation of SIRT1, an enzyme that is involved in regulating certain key cellular processes, notably the efficiency and number of mitochondria the energy powerhouses of our cells.

Because dietary management and exercise rarely succeed by themselves in curbing obesity and associated metabolic disorders, interest has increased in using the SIRT1 pathway as a target for possible pharmacological intervention.

The new chemical entity announced today in Cell Metabolism was specifically designed to activate the SIRT1 pathway and assess its role in the beneficial metabolic effects found in calorie restriction and high doses of resveratrol. The new research verified the hypothesis, demonstrating that activating the SIRT1 pathway protects from diet-induced obesity and its negative metabolic consequences by primarily promoting fat consumption in skeletal muscle, liver, and brown adipose tissue.

"These results show that new synthetic SIRT1 activators can
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Contact: Johan Auwerx
johan.auwerx@epfl.ch
41-216-930-951
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert

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