New drug helps combat metabolic syndrome

A new drug developed at Yale reduces a host of abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome, an obesity-born condition that afflicts one of three adults in the United States, researchers report Oct. 2 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Metabolic syndrome is marked by insulin resistance leading to high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels, and increased fat in the liver, a condition referred to as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Metabolic syndrome is one of the biggest public health threats facing the developed world, and is linked to higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and NAFLD, which can progress to liver fibrosis and liver cancer.

The Yale team reports that the drug administered to nonhuman primates safely reduces plasma triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (known as the “bad” cholesterol) and reverses NAFLD as well as liver insulin resistance – a key driver of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

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