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Blood pressure drugs help weight loss

Drugs commonly used to treat high blood pressure could be used to treat obesity. Australian researchers suggest the drugs can help burn fat by increasing metabolic rate.

The study was of a group of mice, and researchers are keen replicate the results in humans.

The study

Australian scientists separated the mice into 2 groups. One group was altered to mimic the effects of an ACE inhibiting drug, and the other group was left untreated. Both groups received the same food and exercise.

Researchers discovered that mice who were altered to mimic the blood pressure drugs’ effect weighed 20% less than normal mice and had 50-60% less body fat. The mice had less abdominal fat which has been linked to heart attack and stroke.


The researchers report that the treated mice were slim because they lacked the ability to produce a hormone called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). High blood pressure in people is commonly controlled by drugs like Avapro which act to block ACE.

Michael Mathai from the Howard Florey Institute, Melbourne said, “The mechanism we’ve shown in rodents is that a deficiency of ACE leads to an increase in metabolic rate and burning of calories.”

He added, “If you combine that with control of (food intake) that should be less excess calories to store as fat.”


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