We recently wrote about beta-AIBA, a new slimming supplement that manufacturers prefer to call BAIBA. Its structural formula is shown here. BAIBA works in a completely different way to other substances found in slimming supplements, we wrote last time. Today we’re going to annoy you with an animal study that researchers at the French Inserm published in 2008 in Obesity. That study suggests that BAIBA is not only effective, but also exceptionally safe.
The researchers used mice genetically manipulated to gain weight easily [ob/+] for their experiment. The mice’s genes for leptin didn’t work optimally. Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells, and which regulates metabolism. If you’re healthy you make more leptin the faster your fat cells grow. As a result you burn more calories.
The mice were given food containing extra fat and sugar for four months. Some of the lab mice were also given BAIBA via their drinking water. The human equivalent of the dose tested, for an adult weighing 85 kg, would be 850 mg per day.
The researchers used a group of mice that had not been genetically modified [+/+] as a control group. These mice were given the same calorie-rich fattening food, but got no BAIBA.
Less body fat
Administering BAIBA reduced the increase in body fat by 40 percent in the ob/+ mice. During the experiment the lean body mass of this group decreased a little, but BAIBA supplementation reduced the amount of the decrease. BAIBA had no effect on the mice’s food intake.
BAIBA supplementation led to an increase in the amount of leptin secreted into the blood, fat tissue and stomach of the mice.
Increased insulin sensitivity
After four months the researchers gave the mice a hefty dose of glucose. In the animals that had been given BAIBA the glucose disappeared more quickly from the bloodstream and their insulin level did not rise as high.
BAIBA had no negative effects on the blood cholesterol concentration and didn’t reduce the antioxidant status either. BAIBA did reduce the concentration of the enzymes LDH and ALT in the ob/+ mice. That’s a positive effect, and would suggest that BAIBA made at least the liver of the ob/+ mice healthier.
When the researchers studied the mice’s liver tissue under the microscope, they saw that BAIBA was responsible for less fattening of the liver, less inflammation and less fibrosis.
“BAIBA toxicity seems low”, the researchers concluded. “Although further investigations should thoroughly evaluate BAIBA toxicity, this endogenous derivative may have a favorable safety profile that could be attractive for pharmacological usages.”
?-Aminoisobutyric Acid Prevents Diet-induced Obesity in Mice With Partial Leptin Deficiency
?-Aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA), a thymine catabolite, increases fatty acid oxidation (FAO) in liver and reduces the gain of body fat mass in Swiss (lean) mice fed a standard chow. We determined whether BAIBA could prevent obesity and related metabolic disorders in different murine models. To this end, BAIBA (100 or 500 mg/kg/day) was administered for 4 months in mice totally deficient in leptin (ob/ob). BAIBA (100 mg/kg/day) was also given for 4 months in wild-type (+/+) mice and mice partially deficient in leptin (ob/+) fed a high-calorie (HC) diet. BAIBA did not limit obesity and hepatic steatosis in ob/ob mice, but reduced liver cytolysis and inflammation. In ob/+ mice fed the HC diet, BAIBA fully prevented, or limited, the gain of body fat, steatosis and necroinflammation, glucose intolerance, and hypertriglyceridemia. Plasma ?-hydroxybutyrate was increased, whereas expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 was augmented in liver and white adipose tissue. Acetyl-CoA carboxylase was more phosphorylated, and de novo lipogenesis was less induced in liver. These favorable effects of BAIBA in ob/+ mice were associated with a restoration of plasma leptin levels. The reduction of body adiposity afforded by BAIBA was less marked in +/+ mice. Finally, BAIBA significantly stimulated the secretion of leptin in isolated ob/+ adipose cells, but not in +/+ cells. Thus, BAIBA could limit triglyceride accretion in tissues through a leptin-dependent stimulation of FAO. As partial leptin deficiency is not uncommon in the general population, supplementation with BAIBA may help to prevent diet-induced obesity and related metabolic disorders in low leptin secretors.