Brown adipose tissue was successfully activated and energy expenditure increased in 12 lean adult men treated with mirabegron in a new study. The research was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Mirabegron, marketed as Myrbetriq (Astellas Pharma), is a beta-3 adrenergic agonist approved for the treatment of overactive bladder with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency, and urinary frequency.

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Brown adipose tissue is normally activated when a person is exposed to cold whereby it consumes calories from fat and sugar to create heat. Activation of brown adipose tissue in rodents has been shown in previous studies to possibly treat obesity and type 2 diabetes by increasing the body’s energy expenditure. Researchers note that further research on a wider population, including women and obese patients, is needed to determine if beta-3 adrenergic agonists can be utilized for metabolic disease.

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