Taking a single dose of prednisone in a week may aid weight loss – New study

NEWS DIGEST – A new study in mice, published in The Pilot Study suggests that a single dose of prednisone in a week may aid weight loss.

Scientists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago found out that once-weekly dose of prednisone aids weight loss and muscle performance in people with muscular dystrophy.

“Prednisone is a corticosteroid drug that reduces inflammation in a wide range of conditions, including muscular dystrophy, asthma, colitis, arthritis, and psoriasis”.

“However, while the treatment is highly effective, daily prednisone can cause weight gain and muscle wasting, among other serious side effects”.

After several trials in mice, the new study found out that a single dose of prednisone in a week does not cause weight gain as a daily dose of the same drug.

“Unlike a daily dose, the weekly treatment did not appear to cause the usual side effects of corticosteroid treatment, such as weight gain, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure”, the study says.

Professor Elizabeth M. McNally, who led the study at the Department of Medicine (Cardiology), Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago said, they found that a weekly dose of Prednisone prevented obesity and improved muscle metabolism in the animals.

“By contrast, a daily dose of the drug led to weight gain, exercise intolerance, and high blood sugar levels”. He said, adding that the mice that were already obese lost weight, gained strength, and increased their lean body mass on a dose of prednisone despite eating a high-fat diet.

The Study Initiator, Dr. Quattrocelli, assistant professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the pediatrics department at the University of Cincinnati, noted that research adds to evidence that “a healthy, balanced metabolism largely depends on the molecular “conversation” between fat (adipose) tissue and muscles”.

“The scientists discovered that in obese mice, a once-weekly dose of prednisone increased the amount of a signaling molecule that adipose tissue produces” He said.

Dr. Quattrocelli added that researchers will need to learn more about the mechanisms behind the discovery before they can translate the findings into treatments.

“We first need to gather more mechanisms in mice and possibly other animal models to determine the degree of translatability,” he said.

“There’s quite a bit of difference between obesity in mice and obesity in humans, and in general between metabolic stress in mice and metabolic stress in humans,” he emphasized.