Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL, want to see if a weekly dose of prednisone can deliver the same anti-inflammatory benefits as a daily dose while neither causing weight gain or wasting.
The researchers discovered that a weekly dose reduced obesity and increased muscle metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet, as opposed to a daily dose, which caused weight gain, exercise intolerance, and elevated blood sugar levels. Furthermore, despite consuming a high-fat diet, mice who were already obese shed weight, developed strength, and increased their lean body mass when given a weekly dose of prednisone.
The findings revealed that a simple modification in dose frequency can turn corticosteroid medications from obesity inducers to obesity preventers.
The researchers concluded that the molecular “conversation” between fat (adipose) tissue and muscles is crucial for a healthy, balanced metabolism. This is because a once-weekly dose of prednisone boosted the amount of a signaling molecule produced by adipose tissue in obese mice. They also discovered that mice who were genetically altered to be deficient in adiponectin did not respond to prednisone therapy given once a week.
Adiponectin is a fat-derived hormone that increased the animal’s muscle’s exercise tolerance and energy expenditure. However, the study raises an intriguing and unusual hypothesis that has yet to be examined further. These mice did demonstrated improvements in body mass, muscle metabolism, and energy expenditure after receiving a substantial dose of prednisone. However, because there are distinctions between obesity in mice and obesity in people. There is also a difference between metabolic stress in mice and metabolic stress in humans, the muscle in mice differs from that in humans, with a higher proportion of “fast-twitch” fibers.
The authors emphasize that more research into the processes behind the discovery is required before the findings may be translated into treatments.