Even while you sleep, it is possible to burn calories and lose weight.
This what a team of researchers from the University of Iowa discovered after conducting a study that focuses on the effects of risperidone, an anti-psychotic drug which causes significant weight gain in patients. It is used to treat autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychiatric disorders among children and adults.
In an earlier study conducted by Dr. John Kirby and his colleagues, it was determined that patients taking risperidone for a long term gained weight due to a significant shift in the composition in their gut microbiomes.
This prompted them to conduct a new study that will explain how a risperidone-induced microbiome shift causes increase in weight.
Based on their findings, risperidone brings additional 2.5 grams or about 10% of the total body mass in mice over two months. The drug was found to significantly alter the bacterial composition of the gut microbiome which leads to weight gain and changes the resting metabolic rate.
“With the risperidone, the mice become obese and exhibit an alternative, less healthy shift in their microbiome,” says Dr. Kirby.
The researchers used a total calorimetry machine in order to take precise measurements of the mice energy intake, heat production, carbon dioxide output, and oxygen consumption that will allow the team to get the total energy change (delta G) of the mouse.
Although there was no change in aerobic-resting metabolic rate for mice fed wtih risperidone, it was observed that there was a decrease in non-aerobic resting metabolic rate that could explain the animal’s weight gain.
“Our research leads to the conclusion that it is probably bacteria (in the gut) that are responsible for the calories you burn while you are asleep,” Dr. Kirby explained.
The researchers suggest that targeting the gut microbiome to manipulate the resting metabolic rate could be a new way to treat obesity.