Cancer Worries Dog New Anti-Fat Drugs

Americans get fatter every year, and drug companies are racing to treat the resulting health problems--but first they have to prove to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that their anti-fat drugs don't cause cancer. That hurdle is delaying the development of a particularly promising group of drugs for treating obesity-related health problems. These drugs are the PPAR agonists, which aim to trip master switches in the cell that control the absorption of fat and sugar in the bloodstream. By modifying these switches, called peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs), these drugs would help treat diabetes and heart disease before they become serious. PPAR agonists could become a major treatment for the bad diets, bad exercise habits and bad genetics that lead to heart attacks and dangerously high levels of blood sugar.

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