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June 05, 2011

New generation asthma drug could improve metabolism for safe and effective fat burning and muscle building pill

Formoterol, a new generation asthma medication, shows great promise for improving fat and protein metabolism, say Australian researchers, who have tested this effect in a small sample of eight men.

The new drug is also more selective for a similar receptor found in muscle and fat. In theory at least, it should have beneficial metabolic effects – like the older class of medication – without affecting the heart.

Energy metabolism increased by more than 10%, fat burning increased by more than 25%, while protein burning fell by 15%.

So although whole body metabolism increased, these men burned fat while reducing the burning of protein. That's a good thing because in the long run these effects may lead to a loss in fat mass and an increase in muscle.

If the long term trials of a large population prove out - this could be a safe fat burning / muscle increasing pill.

Obesity can reduce life expectancy by several years. Since the drug has already been approved for use for treating asthma then it should be able to go right to phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. Or at least spend less time in phase 1 safety trials.


Formoterol is a synthetic catecholamine, the metabolic effects of which have not previously been studied in people. Therapy doses given to animals, however, have shown that it stimulates metabolism without affecting the heart.

"We have known for a long time that catecholamine influences the way the body handles nutrients, in particular fat and protein," said Lee.

"The generation of drugs before formoterol was exploited in the livestock industry around 20 years ago – to reduce the fat and increase the protein content of meat. Unfortunately, these older drugs also caused a faster heart rate."

"Formoterol is a new generation of this class of medication. It is highly selective for the kind of catecholamine receptors found in the lungs, and not those in the heart."

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