What Role Can Marijuana Play in the Life of Dieters?
There’s a new research that is probing the possibility of using an active substance found in marijuana to adjust a person’s brain chemicals, so that dieters who want to lose pounds can do so without the need to exercise.
Many people are wondering if it would be possible to eat anything and everything, yet still stay slim without doing any exercise. Perhaps that would be possible one day. Some University of California researchers worked towards the realization of this goal.
The Hypermetabolic Mice Experiment
The researchers conducted a mouse study where they found a certain brain chemical that can boost the metabolism of the mice’s body. This chemical is similar to the active cannabinoid substance present in marijuana.
The scientists made a tweak on the protein found in the mice’s brain. This resulted in decreased levels of the marijuana-like compound, the endocannabinoids compound 2-AG and there was an increase in the mice’s metabolism. Even if the mice ate foods high in fat and did not exercise, they maintained normal blood pressure and did not suffer from any heart disease or diabetes. The researchers referred to the mice as having a “hypermetabolic state.”
Potential Solution to Weight Loss Without Diet and Exercise
Daniele Piomelli, a Pharmacology professor and a part of the research team said that these mice revealed a breakthrough. The test mice surpassed the normal mice in their fat-burning capacity so they have become resistant to obesity. Researchers have long known about the role of endocannabinoids in the regulation of cell energy. But this study is the first instance they saw this idea tested.
In this study, the mice did not grow fat because they have hyperactive brown fat, which converts to heat very rapidly. All mammals have this brown fat, too, which converts to heat naturally only when in a cold environment.
If scientists would like to create this fat-burning effect experienced by the test mice in humans, they have to create a drug that can stop 2-AG production within the brain. This breakthrough is yet to happen any time soon.
Photo credits: Marijuana plants by James St. John via Flickr, CC by 2.0