JAN 14, 2020 11:23 AM PST

Can Silica Treat Obesity and Diabetes?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Silica particles, specifically ‘mesoporous silica particles (MSPs)’ are engineered molecular traps that may provide a breakthrough treatment options for diabetes and obesity when introduced to the gut microbiome. These particles have an intensive effect on food efficiency and metabolic risk factors as demonstrated on mice studies that were fed a high-fat diet.

The study examined the potential of MSPs to reduce energy uptake into the body and lead to new therapeutics for obesity and diabetes.

“We chose an innovative alternative approach. Mesoporous silica particles (MSP) are a type of ingestible synthetic silica particles that can be produced with a large surface area and a range of pore sizes," says professor Tore Bengtsson at the Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University and the one heading the research team behind the study.

Learn more about obesity and diabetes:

Findings were published in the journal Nanomedicine and was based on hypothesis that the MSPs work as ‘molecular sieves’ in the intestines by inhibiting the activity of certain enzymes and reducing food efficiency. Results indicated that MSPs did indeed reduce food efficiency by 33 percent resulting to a ‘reduced weight gain’, ‘positive effect on the metabolic profile’, ‘significantly lower levels of adipose tissue formation and leptin’ and finally, ‘low levels of circulating insulin’.

There are currently no therapeutics that are both safe and effective and that target obesity and slow weight gain/promote weight loss. Many current drugs utilize small compounds that can produce variable side-effects that are often discouraged for use by healthcare providers.

"The data presented in this study suggest that tailored MSPs could be used to treat obesity and diabetes in humans, especially when taking into account their excellent safety profiles. Since we completed this work, clinical trials have been devised and are now underway," says professor Tore Bengtsson.

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
DEC 05, 2019
Health & Medicine
DEC 05, 2019
Once-a-Month Contraceptive Pill Closer to Reality
While a variety of contraceptive options exist, each has its pros and cons. As many women understand, one of the major drawbacks of the daily birth control...
DEC 12, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
DEC 12, 2019
Probiotics Treat Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury
Alcoholic liver injury is caused by overconsumption of alcohol, something that can lead to serious diseases such as liver steatosis, liver cirrhosis and li...
DEC 21, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
DEC 21, 2019
Improving Vaccines for Meningitis
Scientists at the University of Nottingham are seeking new ways to improve vaccine use in the protection against the bacterium, Neisseria meningitides that...
JAN 15, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 15, 2020
A New Drug Target for Substance Abuse
Research carried out by the University of Minnesota Medical School indicates a new drug target for treating a drug addiction. Researchers note that the dru...
FEB 12, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FEB 12, 2020
Does Traditional Chinese Medicine Work Against Coronavirus?
Over 45,000 cases of Wuhan Coronavirus have been reported globally, alongside over 1,100 deaths. Although over 4,700 people are said to have recovered from...
FEB 26, 2020
Microbiology
FEB 26, 2020
NIAID Tests Remdesivir as a Treatment for COVID-19
A case of coronavirus has now occured in the US in someone without a known link to an infected person or travel....
Loading Comments...