Obesity may significantly impact one’s quality of life, as it can negatively affect independent movement and exercise. While this condition can cause physical and emotional problems, it can also increase one’s risk for deadly diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and non-alcoholic liver failure. Unfortunately, once you become obese, this condition is extremely difficult to reverse or even treat effectively. This is because obesity affects the body’s ability to break down fat stores and use it as a source of energy. In fact, even drugs that have been designed to boost fat breakdown may be ineffective. Therefore, body fat accumulates over time and becomes very challenging to remove without surgical intervention.
Recently, a new breakthrough may help patients with this severe form of obesity achieve healthier weight. The NNMT inhibitor 5-amino-1-methylquinoline or 5-amino-1MQ has been shown to reduce the production of the enzyme nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), a regulator of energy homeostasis in adipose tissue (a type of fat used for energy storage). This mechanism could shrink white adipose tissue and dramatically reduce weight without the need for limiting calorie intake.
Evidence suggests that by shrinking white adipose tissue, 5-amino-1MQ can significantly reduce weight and improve body composition:
Evidence suggests that the enzyme NNMT is highly associated with inflammatory conditions and related injuries, suggesting that NNMT inhibitors like 5-amino-1MQ may have an anti-inflammatory role:
A number of high quality studies also suggest that high levels of NNMT are strongly linked with the development of various types of cancer, suggesting a potential therapeutic role for NNMT inhibitors:
5-amino-1MQ and other NNMT inhibitors have the potential to help older people with age-related muscle weakness become fitter and stronger, thus allowing them to live an active lifestyle.
A 2019 study published in Biochem Pharmacology found that NNMT inhibitor administration in a group of old mice with senescent muscle stem cells enhanced aged muscle regeneration.  In this study, old mice (24 months) underwent barium chloride injection to induce an acute muscle injury. A group of mice were then treated with saline (control) and another group treated with low and high dose of NNMT inhibitor (5 and 10 mg/kg) for 1 week.
Results revealed that regeneration of muscle stem cells (muSCs) were faster in NNMT inhibitor-treated mice, supporting nearly 2-fold greater muscle cell fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) measurements compared with control. In addition, NNMT inhibitor-treated mice exhibited greater contractile function, which is indicative of improved muscle function. These results provide the first clear evidence that NNMT inhibitors can be considered as a therapeutic option for age-related muscle wasting and weakness by rescuing muscle stem cell function and improving skeletal muscle regenerative capacity.
As a NNMT inhibitor, 5-amino-1MQ’s weight-reducing effects could produce additional benefits such as improvement of cholesterol profile and reduction of blood sugar levels.
A 2018 study published in the Dibetes Journals investigated the effects of NNMT inhibitor in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice maintained on a high-fat diet.  During the study period, the researchers assessed different health parameters such as fat mass, oral glucose tolerance, fat cell levels, and circulating lipids.
Interestingly, results showed that systemic treatment of DIO mice with a potent NNMT inhibitor dramatically reduced body weight, fat mass, fat cell size, blood sugar levels, and plasma cholesterol levels. In addition, researchers observed that the treatment did not alter food intake nor produce any adverse side effects. These results suggest that NNMT inhibitors can help improve body composition as well as cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
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