Magnesium Magic: New Drug Delivers Weight Loss Even on Sugary, Fatty Diet

Obesity Weight Loss

Researchers at UT Health San Antonio, along with collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, have developed a small-molecule drug called CPACC that limits magnesium transport in cellular power plants called mitochondria. The drug has been shown to prevent weight gain and adverse liver changes in mice on a high-sugar, high-fat diet. By reducing magnesium transport in the mitochondria, the drug enhances metabolism of sugar and fat, resulting in slimmer and healthier mice with no evidence of fatty liver disease. The researchers have filed a patent application for the drug, which has potential implications in reducing the risk of cardiometabolic diseases and liver cancer.

Compound limits magnesium transport in cellular power plants called mitochondria.

A small-molecule drug, CPACC, developed by researchers, has been shown to prevent weight gain and liver issues in mice by limiting magnesium transport in cellular power plants, thus improving metabolism and overall health.

Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) have developed a small-molecule drug that prevents weight gain and adverse liver changes in mice fed a high-sugar, high-fat Western diet throughout life.

“When we give this drug to the mice for a short time, they start losing weight. They all become slim,” said Madesh Muniswamy, PhD, professor of medicine in the health science center’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.

“A drug that can reduce the risk of cardiometabolic diseases such as heart attack and stroke, and also reduce the incidence of liver cancer, which can follow fatty liver disease, will make a huge impact.” — Madesh Muniswamy, PhD

Findings by the collaborators, also from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, were published recently in the high-impact journal Cell Reports. Muniswamy, director of the Center for Mitochondrial Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, is the senior author.

Fourth most common element

The research team discovered the drug by first exploring how magnesium impacts metabolism, which is the production and consumption of energy in cells. This energy, called ATP, fuels the body’s processes.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant cation, or positively charged ion, in the body after calcium, potassium, and sodium, and plays many key roles in good health, including regulating blood sugar and blood pressure and building bones. But the researchers found that too much magnesium slows energy production in mitochondria, which are cells’ power plants.

“It puts the brake on, it just slows down,” said co-lead author Travis R. Madaris, doctoral student in the Muniswamy laboratory at UT Health San Antonio.

Deleting MRS2, a gene that promotes magnesium transport into the mitochondria, resulted in more efficient metabolism of sugar and fat in the power plants. The result: skinny, healthy mice.

Liver and adipose (fat) tissues in the rodents showed no evidence of fatty liver disease, a complication related to poor diet, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Mitochondria Heart Cell

Microscopic image of mitochondria within a single heart cell. Mitochondria highlighted in red were exposed to ultraviolet light. Credit: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health

Small-molecule agent

The drug, which the researchers call CPACC, accomplishes the same thing. It restricts the amount of magnesium transfer into the power plants. In experiments, the result was again: skinny, healthy mice. UT Health San Antonio has filed a patent application on the drug.

The mice served as a model system of long-term dietary stress precipitated by the calorie-rich, sugary, and fatty Western diet. The familiar results of this stress are obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular complications.

“Lowering the mitochondrial magnesium mitigated the adverse effects of prolonged dietary stress,” said co-lead author Manigandan Venkatesan, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Muniswamy lab.

Joseph A. Baur, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania and Justin J. Wilson, PhD, of Cornell are among the collaborators. “We came up with the small molecule and Justin synthesized it,” Madaris said.

Stepping on Brake Pedal

Magnesium acts like a brake on energy production, researchers found.

Significant implications

“These findings are the result of several years of work,” Muniswamy said. “A drug that can reduce the risk of cardiometabolic diseases such as heart attack and stroke, and also reduce the incidence of liver cancer, which can follow fatty liver disease, will make a huge impact. We will continue its development.”

Reference: “Limiting Mrs2-dependent mitochondrial Mg2+ uptake induces metabolic programming in prolonged dietary stress” by Travis R. Madaris, Manigandan Venkatesan, Soumya Maity, Miriam C. Stein, Neelanjan Vishnu, Mridula K. Venkateswaran, James G. Davis, Karthik Ramachandran, Sukanthathulse Uthayabalan, Cristel Allen, Ayodeji Osidele, Kristen Stanley, Nicholas P. Bigham, Terry M. Bakewell, Melanie Narkunan, Amy Le, Varsha Karanam, Kang Li, Aum Mhapankar, Luke Norton, Jean Ross, M. Imran Aslam, W. Brian Reeves, Brij B. Singh, Jeffrey Caplan, Justin J. Wilson, Peter B. Stathopulos, Joseph A. Baur and Muniswamy Madesh, 27 February 2023, Cell Reports.
DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112155

Funders of this project include the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics.

85 Comments on "Magnesium Magic: New Drug Delivers Weight Loss Even on Sugary, Fatty Diet"

  1. Sandro Freitas | April 9, 2023 at 3:41 am | Reply

    I’m kind confused now. Is safe to get magnesium supplement? since they research is showing that restrict the transport of magnesium into the mitochondria results in a better health

  2. Which type of magnesium? There are several

  3. Donna Prickett | April 9, 2023 at 5:37 am | Reply

    Is this a supplement available at this time?

  4. Terrie Rothman | April 9, 2023 at 6:30 am | Reply

    So what would you recommend taking now with this new information?

  5. “Researchers have found that too much magnesium slows energy production in mitochondria”. How common is too much magnesium in the US with the high incidence of magnesium deficiency?

  6. I am currently 60 lbs overweight. I am only 4 foot 11 inches so you can see my dillema. I was 95 pounds for most of my life. I actually gained these pounds because I quit smoking 3 years ago. I exercise every day and I am 69 yrs old. What dose age of magnesium would you recommend

    • I would love to try it I’m 65 I walk 2 miles n swim 4 days a week my weight is not budging

    • Paula Stewart | April 9, 2023 at 8:03 pm | Reply

      Have u tried Intermittent Fasting .it works

      • More magnesium isn’t going to help folks. This is cellular biology. Just because ot works on how Magnesium is used in cells doesn’t mean taking more of tye mineral will help anything.

    • Paula Stewart | April 9, 2023 at 8:05 pm | Reply

      Intermittent works. Especially good for post menapausals

      • Hello, I work from 3am-11am M-F, when should I begin eating/fasting? Should I begin same time each day, what about weekends? Thank you

    • Start chewing nicotine gum. It obviously had a good impact on your metabolism. It’s addicting but not cancer causing. It also has been proven to enhance cognitive abilities

  7. Vois Akawshin | April 9, 2023 at 9:42 am | Reply

    The commenters aren’t understanding the study from the article. I read it back on March 21. The CPACC drug is “Chloropentamminecobalt chloride”, or “Pentaamminechlorocobalt(III) chloride”. It’s slowing the mouse cells from using magnesium to create energy to live. It’s a drug if it works like this, but it’s just a cobalt salt that’s been around for centuries as a chemistry curiosity (it’s a pretty purple). We don’t know how to take it, or how much to take, or what the side-effects are. Stopping your cells from creating ATP energy would be very scary, and you’re not a mouse anyway.

    It’s potentially exciting, because they can’t patent the chemical apart from making a trademark drug, and it’s cheap. If it works, you’ll see it available with the right dosage and delivery method soon enough. Do not eat this cobalt salt just yet. We’re all struggling, but there’s a lot of exciting developments on this front, and we need to be patient.

    • C. Earle Inverleigh | April 9, 2023 at 10:53 pm | Reply

      Thank you for your very helpful and clearly stated assessment of the artcle regarding the research on CPACC.
      So many of us are desperate for relief from the seriously depressing and ongoing issues related to obesity, I think we get ahead of ourselves, thinking the treatment &/or medication is already available.
      We should also remember that this situation of the general population experiencing greatest levels of obesityin human history is, #1 literally of epidemic proportions and, sadly, at the same time, #2 fueling a multi-billion dollar enterprise in the form of the diet & weight-loss ‘industry’. Collectively, they are easily as influential now as the tobacco industry 30 years ago that attempted to obscure &/or subsume research re: the dangers of smoking. Similar to what the oil & gas industry did to try & kill all attempts to build an affordable electric car. This information threatens many, many corporations’ bottom line.
      Sad to say, quite a number of us may be dead before this drug &/or treatment ever sees the light of day.
      In the meantime, if you can get through it, I would highly recommend the book, “The Calorie Myth”, which thoroughly explains the fallacies and simplistic assumptions we’ve been force-fed for 50+ years that losing weight is just a simple math problem of “Calories in – Calories out”. It’s not. The author spent 10 years bringing together and evaluating much of the research on the subject. Unfortunately, he does a rather overly self-indulgent job of proving his point. But if you (despite his whining at the beginning of the book) skip over chapters 12 – 15 and get into his specific recommendations, the book and his assertions are backed up by the facts and well documented in the endnotes.
      Good luck to us all,

      • Vois Akawshin | April 10, 2023 at 1:00 am | Reply

        There’s so many comments, people giving their height and weight and age, desperate for help. This study is almost pure research, putting a cobalt powder into mice and seeing if they die, and apparently they got smaller. Unless it’s bots, readers here think it’s magnesium and they want it in them right now. It’s scary. Maybe I shouldn’t have named the chemical, even though it’s in the article?

        You’re right about dietary science. It’s so new, and it’s constantly given bad advice. Don’t eat cholesterol, or fat, or spicy food, and skip coffee, and switch to artificial sweetener, all terrible advice. Doctors prescribed cigarettes, and maybe the nicotine helped people lose weight, but it sure killed them too. The calorie is measuring energy in food, but the body doesn’t burn food like in a bombcalorimeter, it digests food.

        Horst A Karl also commented with a serious evaluation of the study. Basically, it’s just someone maybe shrunk mice. It’s promising, but for now only if you prefer thin mice.

        • Nicotine is not most or less dangerous than nicotinic acid or pantothenic acid! They fit the same receptors often as those vitamins! We know and understand so little of whole picture of health and physiological and food and epigenetics. It’s really downright scary at times to me. But I believe and hope in God our Father and our Creator Who created us “very good” that we can go through so much physically, emotionally, spiritually and yet still be made whole again by Him! I tend to distrust “the science” and trust “my gut” and common sense of His creation and His given wisdom in human tradition of food (plant or animal) as powerful medicine if used right or perhaps even as deadly poison if used for evil!

      • I second the recommendation of “The Calorie Myth” book and any critique of such an asinine and outdated theory as “calorie in, calorie out” with all we now know about metobolism and the involvement of hormones! The next asinine theory to go hopefully is the modern germ theory that totally ignores the terrain (the nutrition in the body, especially its fluids, at any given time) as well as the mental/psychological state of the whole person! See Dr Caroline Leaf and her research, especially concerning cytokines! How much disease (yes, even real physical degeneration) is caused by our own state of mind which affects the very state of our physical nervous system whether to fight or flight or to rest and relaxation or a confused mess of the two states?! We ignore the reality of our own souls and the spiritual world at our own peril!

    • Oh My Goodness!!! Thank you for STOPPING the CPACC Stampede!
      At first glance, this sounds almost too good to be True!! Very Exciting!! But We are ALL GETTING AHEAD OF OURSELVES!!
      This IS NOT a drug for use in humans! Not YET, anyway! It is still in the “molecular” study stage! Simply taking magnesium supplements will not replicate the findings described here! This study, modeled on white mice, is at the molecular level and as such cannot be applied to humans. It will take a great deal more research before it can be approved and/or formulated for HUMAN TRIALS….
      (Even though we’d REALLY LOVE TO HAVE IT NOW!!!😯). No need to rush to the drugstore just yet! It does sound very promising… I know I’ll be impatiently waiting to see where this goes! Plus,, I’ll be picking up a new book about calories too!🤗. Wouldn’t it be FANTASTIC if they Finally find a TRUE, SAFE & LASTING solution for diet/nutrition/fitness resistant obesity?? Wowee!!

  8. Hortencia Velarde | April 9, 2023 at 10:58 am | Reply

    Thank you for the research..and happy to learn about the how, what to take, our body needs met.

  9. Maureen Ellis | April 9, 2023 at 11:21 am | Reply

    Are there any human studies being studied at NIH, or any study offers for volunteers that will become available?

  10. So, what tyoe,dose should we take? More advise please.

  11. Suzanne Masson | April 9, 2023 at 12:41 pm | Reply

    So how much should you take? What’s the best brand to take also?

  12. Tammy Fairchild | April 9, 2023 at 1:38 pm | Reply

    I would love to try this. I am 40 lbs. Over weight .

  13. Lots of questions and no answers.

    • I agree. I am confused with the article. How much, what kind of Magnesium? Too much cause fatty liver or not enough ?

  14. For mice with a prescription only.

    • Verdon Kaleo Ashlly-Simpkins | April 9, 2023 at 5:44 pm | Reply

      I am 5ft tall and weigh 197 lbs. I only eat one meal a day.
      I also have type 2 diabetes and am 76 yrs old. Would this medication help me ?

  15. Would love to be a volunteer in the trial. Please let us know dosage and when it will become available

  16. Need to lose weight so cow much should I take

  17. When will it be available?

  18. LYGIA Gonzalez | April 9, 2023 at 4:08 pm | Reply

    Is it really true?

  19. Which Magnesium do i take for fatty liver

  20. Betty Williams | April 9, 2023 at 4:57 pm | Reply

    I’m very interested in learning more about this drug. I would to volunteer to be a part of a trial run. I’m 62 and 5ft weighting 165 lbs. I would love to lose 30 lbs.

  21. I am 5’0” I am also 30lbs overweight since covid. I’ve been trying to lose the weight with no avail. I’d like to know more about this.
    Thank you

    • Painful to read all the comments. So many people struggling with weight. So much misunderstanding of the article as well. The article is about a drug that changes how magnesium works in the body. It was also only done in mice and may be dangerous for humans. Please do not attempt to acquire this dtmrug and take it, as it could have very harmful consequences.

  22. I would love to be in a program for this. I struggle daily with two bad knees and recently blew out 3 discs in my back. I need to loose weight so badly but struggle with thyroid issues also. I have dieted lost some but hit a plateau and struggle to get past it but it never happens. My Doctors has told me my knees would continue to bother me unless I loose weight. If there is a way I’m interested. I struggle everyday to try to get healthy but I just can’t get anywhere. I’m 63 in August and weight 173 .
    I thank you in advance.

  23. Would love to me a volunteer in Montreal

  24. Like the try been trying to loose weight have lose some but need to loose some more

  25. Charlene SIEBUHR | April 9, 2023 at 6:10 pm | Reply

    I’m 66 year old female 4 feet 10 inches weight 200 lbs, I would greatly appreciate if you would allow me to be in a trial with this drug.

  26. This is how I understand and see the very promising result of Uni research.
    First… it has not been peer reviewed
    Second…it was only tested on mice, which is normally the first step in establishing efficacy.
    Third…human trails have yet to come. When ? We don’t know.
    Fourth… no FDA statement about this medication.
    This is what I have learned over a lifetime of reading these research reports.
    It will be quite sometime before a medication will be available to the public.
    My hope is that this is a real breakthrough.

    • Maropeng Daniel Mosomane | April 9, 2023 at 11:40 pm | Reply

      Comments are really encouraging though I never tried the product

    • I’m pretty sure the research has been peer-reviewed, since it has been published in the journal Cell Reports. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

  27. Ok never mind I hate things that take a long time . Everything is always in 2: to 4 years and so on and so on .you got it now get it out there . Otherwise my time is limited not getting any younger .

  28. Rosie Marie Edwards | April 9, 2023 at 9:00 pm | Reply

    I think this breakthrough is Awesome.
    I would love to be a part of this trial.

  29. If you ever need a test subject for a trial run IM RIGHT HERE.. may sound desperate but I’ve tried everything but surgery.. That’s my next step..

    • Pantazia Herring | April 9, 2023 at 10:59 pm | Reply

      Would definitely be a volunteer if there are trials, I’m 5’9 and 270 lbs 32 years of age with chronic knee pain

    • It is purely psychological, energy to mooove arround instead of idling. Regulsr normal veg diet. False promising by media

  30. Would be interested in trying

  31. Gayle Trotman | April 9, 2023 at 11:01 pm | Reply

    Struggling with trying to lose weight, senior female, would appreciate any feedback that would be helpful

  32. Laura everson | April 9, 2023 at 11:05 pm | Reply

    I also would like to volunteer!!

  33. My cousin is suffering from severe water retention. Has a paste maker and basically needs a new heart. Shortness of breathe and over weight. What help is out there for him? Would magnesium help?

  34. Where can I buy the product?

  35. What possible reason would the Department of Defense have in being a co-funder of the research for this new finding?

    • Curious and concerned | April 10, 2023 at 8:54 am | Reply

      Thank you! I was wondering the exact same thing!

    • Vois Akawshin | April 10, 2023 at 9:32 am | Reply

      Good catch. Potential recruits and even soldiers now are “too fat to fight”. The Pentagon is beginning to see it as an existential risk, so they’re funding all sorts of studies on obesity. If the citizens and soldiers are too out of shape to fight back, the country has no defense. Of course, given the aggression post-pearlharbor versus any defending they do, maybe we’d prefer jolly soldiers.

  36. Bunch of people who can’t read in the comments, good grief.

    The industry will figure out some way to charge you thousands of dollars for this concoction should it receive approval, just wait.

  37. Danielle Hamman | April 10, 2023 at 6:37 am | Reply

    I’ve tried everything I’m desperate to loose weight if you can help

  38. Danielle Hamman | April 10, 2023 at 6:38 am | Reply

    I need to lose weight

  39. Donita Grantham | April 10, 2023 at 9:25 am | Reply

    What’s the product

  40. Name of the product

  41. It Is highly interesting to note that magnesium plays such a significant role against the fight for weight loss / obesity,

  42. This research is disgusting….
    interruption of the mineral balance in the mitochondria will lead to all kinds of dysfunction…. but Hey!!! those pounds will drop off….
    Chasing a market for a drug that let’s people eat crap but stay healthy? Please….

    Mineral requirements for mitochondrial function: A connection to redox balance and cellular differentiation

  43. Good morning. My name is Debbie. I’m 92, 4ft 2in tall, 420 pounds overweight, 4ft 2in wide, am cow shaped, and unable to read. I keep eating heavy metals like the article said to and am not loosing weight. Am I not injecting enough magnesium? What brand of mice do I have to eat? Put me on trial. Ples help.

  44. OMG. People – please READ the article. DO NOT just start “taking magnesium” because that’s NOT what the article says. You’re going to hurt yourself if you think that this article says that taking a magnesium supplement will cause you to lose weight.

  45. Just to let you people know I have taken Magnesium for years like 10 years have not lost any weight at all by taking this product. You have to take in less calories to lose weight I also walked 3 miles a day all this time just sayin!

  46. Here’s a tip for all you “despirate” people…stop drinking all sodas, anything with High Fructose Syrup, anything with “sugar free* artificial sugars like aapartame, dont eat fried foods,dont eat cheese, breads tortillas or any type of chips (doritos, Lays, etc)
    Do eat lots of leafy greens, more fish baked not breaded, more fruuts and veggies and lots of watee. Try to get out and walk, start our slow and each week or 2 trying going a couple if minutes mor but go at your own pace.

  47. A Human Being | April 11, 2023 at 7:18 pm | Reply

    With all the hate and bad s*** we’ve already got going on in the world and even in the US itself, is it to much to ask for common courtesy and to simply respect one another??! Geez!
    Shame On You, Matt 🙁

  48. There are 11 different kinds of magnesium, but this article doesn’t specify which one they’re referring to.

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