Researchers discovered that treating obese mice with an antioxidant called MnTBAP decreases obesity and improves type-2 diabetes.
Obese mice that received the compound lost 40 per cent of their body weight.
"To put that number in context, if a 300-pound (136 kg)obese person lost 40 per cent of their body weight, they would have lost 120 pounds (54 kg)," researchers said.
Researchers Jonathan R Brestoff Parker, a Skidmore College graduate and Thomas H Reynolds, associate professor of health and exercise sciences - have been awarded a patent for the use of the compound.
The compound works by breaking down triglycerides, which are stored in excess in fat tissue of obese people. The researchers' next step, according to Reynolds, is "to figure out how that happens. What are the cellular and molecular events that result in weight loss?"The original research showing that MnTBAP dramatically decreases obesity was Brestoff Parker's senior thesis.