An investigational cancer drug that starves tumors of their energy supply also shows evidence of improving whole body metabolism, according to a new study in mice from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Shown are sections of liver from mice on a high-fat, high-sugar diet. On the left, more white space indicates greater fat accumulation in an untreated mouse. On the right, in a mouse treated with the drug, the liver shows less fat accumulation.
Mice fed a diet high in trans fats and cholesterol for 12 weeks show fatty deposits in the liver (red staining). A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that the natural sugar trehalose blocks glucose from getting into the liver and turns on a gene, Aloxe3, that improves insulin sensitivity and other measures of metabolic syndrome, including reducing such fatty liver deposits.
Brian DeBosch, MD, PhD, and his colleagues showed that a natural sugar called trehalose prevents fatty liver disease in mice. (Photo: Robert Boston/School of Medicine)