Secret Weight Loss Weapon: GDF15 Supports Calorie Burning During Diets

Obesity Weight Loss

Researchers at McMaster University have found that the hormone GDF15, previously linked to reduced appetite due to metformin, can also aid weight loss by maintaining metabolism during diets. This can lead to better weight loss therapies and offer insight into individual variations in diet success.

Research opens up new possibilities for helping people maintain weight loss after dieting.

Researchers led by McMaster University professor Gregory Steinberg and postdoctoral research associate Dongdong Wang have discovered a key mechanism for promoting weight loss and maintaining calorie burn during the diet.

The research team studied a hormone called GDF15 that they had previously shown could reduce appetite in response to the type 2 diabetes drug metformin. Their latest findings, published in Natural on June 28, showing that GDF15 also has the potential to aid weight loss.

This research opens up new possibilities for helping people maintain weight loss after dieting, as well as the potential for developing combination therapies with GDF15 and currently available appetite-suppressing drugs to promote further weight loss. Obesity, a global problem affecting one billion people, is linked to many metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes. It has long been a target of research on effective weight loss methods.

Dongdong Wang and Gregory Steinberg

Dongdong Wang, first author and postdoctoral researcher and Gregory Steinberg, professor of Medicine at McMaster University and co-director of the Center for Metabolism, Obesity and Diabetes Research at McMaster University. Credit: McMaster University

“We have found that in mice, GDF15 blocks the metabolic slowdown that occurs during dieting by increasing wasted calcium cycling in muscle,” said Steinberg, professor of the Department of Medicine at McMaster University and co-director of the Center for Metabolism. , Obesity, and Diabetes Research.

“Our study highlights the potential of the hormone GDF15 to not only reduce cravings for fatty foods but also simultaneously increase energy burn in the muscles.”

While calorie restriction initially leads to weight loss, the body’s metabolism eventually slows down this process, reducing its effectiveness. Research shows, however, that mice treated with GDF15 continued to lose weight while consuming the same number of calories as the control group. This increase in energy burning occurred in their muscles but not in fat tissue.

More research is needed to confirm these findings in humans, Steinberg said. He said that understanding how GDF15 levels affect muscle energy burn in humans could help explain why people have different levels of success at losing weight by dieting.

Further research into GDF15 might also provide new ways to help individuals struggling to lose weight through traditional diets and could expand the benefits of recently approved appetite suppressant drugs that target the GLP1 receptor.

References: “GDF15 promotes weight loss by increasing energy expenditure in the muscles” by Dongdong Wang, Logan K. Townsend, Genevieve J. DesOrmeaux, Sara M. Frangos, Battsetseg Batchuluun, Lauralyne Dumont, Rune Ehrenreich Kuhre, Elham Ahmadi, Sumei Hu, Irena No translation available. No translation available. No translation available. No translation available. No translation available , Theodoros Tsakiridis, Mary-Ellen Harper, Thomas J. Hawke, John R. Speakman, Denis P Blondin, Graham P. Holloway, Sebastian Beck Jørgensen and Gregory R. Steinberg, 28 June 2023, Natural.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06249-4

This analysis of the impact of GDF15 on weight loss was the result of a collaboration with Novo Nordisk and researchers from Ottawa, Waterloo, Sherbrooke, Beijing, and Guelph.

This work was funded in part by Diabetes Canada, the Canadian Health Research Institute, and Novo Nordisk.


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