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Viagra: A Potential Fat-Fighting Weapon?

Tuesday, 22 Jan 2013 10:21 AM


German scientists have made a surprising discovery that could give Viagra a new use: Lab experiments involving mice have found the popular potency pill may also be a powerful fat-fighter that can promote weight loss.
Researchers from the University of Bonn found Viagra converts unhealthy “white fat” cells into calorie-burning “brown fat” and has the potential to “melt the unwelcome spare tire" around the midriff. In addition, Viagra (sildenafil) decreases the risk of other complications caused by obesity, according to the study, published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
"Sildenafil is not only able to minimize erectile problems, but it can also reduce the risks of gaining excessive weight," said lead researcher Alexander Pfeifer, M.D., director of the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Bonn. "This is why sildenafil was a potentially interesting candidate for us."
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Dr. Pfeifer cautioned that the findings are preliminary and will need to be confirmed in future studies, including trials in human patients, before people should consider downing the little blue pills to lose weight. But the findings are promising in that they have found a mechanism that converts undesirable “bad” white fat cells tied to obesity and related health problems to "good" brown fat that raises body temperature and burns calories.
Viagra treats erectile dysfunction by preventing the degradation of a substance in the body — cyclic guanosine mono-phosphate (cGMP) — which then ensures blood supplies necessary for an erection. But mice given Viagra over long periods of time have also been found to be resistant to obesity when fed a high-fat diet.
For the new study, the Bonn researchers treated mice with Viagra for seven days and found it converted white fat to brown. In addition, the drug appeared to block another process by which white fat cells release hormones that cause inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
"It seems that sildenafil prevented the fat cells in these mice from getting onto that slippery slope," said Pfeifer.




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New research shows Viagra may be a powerful fat-fighter that can promote weight loss.
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2013-21-22
Tuesday, 22 Jan 2013 10:21 AM
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