Chewing gum drug could help curb obesity epidemic

Discussion in 'The euphoric body' started by Lunar Loops, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    This from The Guardian (UK) http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,1990537,00.html :

    Chewing gum drug could help curb obesity epidemic

    · Treatment mimics body's signals for feeling full
    · Volunteers' appetites reduced by a fifth in trials

    Alok Jha, science correspondent
    Monday January 15, 2007
    The Guardian

    An appetite-suppressing chewing gum or injection could be used to tackle Britain's obesity epidemic. Scientists are developing a way to emulate the body's natural signals for feeling full using a drug based on a natural gut hormone produced after every meal.
    It is likely to be developed as as an injectable drug, but the scientists also believe it could eventually be taken orally and incorporated into a gum, or used in a nasal spray.

    "We weren't looking at a toxic drug, which has all sorts of side effects; we were looking at the body's own way of switching off appetite after a meal," said Steve Bloom, of Imperial College, who is leading work on the new treatment, based on a hormone produced by the body called pancreatic polypeptide (PP).
    In Britain, more than a fifth of adults are obese and of the remaining population half of men and a third of women are classified as overweight. In early trials, volunteers' appetites were reduced by a fifth after being injected with the experimental new drug.
    Drugs to tackle obesity often have unpleasant side effects. Orlastat prevents the absorption of fat but can cause vitamin deficiencies and has to be carefully administered; Sibutramine, originally developed as an antidepressant, can drive up heart rate and blood pressure; and Rimonobant, which reverses the "munchies" associated with cannabis use, can cause nausea.
    Professor Bloom said that in contrast, PP looks as if it will be free of side effects because it already circulates in the body. The body produces the hormone after every meal to ensure eating does not run out of control. There is evidence that some people have more of the hormone than others, and becoming overweight reduces the levels produced.
    Prof Bloom tested the hormone in 35 overweight volunteers who were otherwise healthy. Participants were split into two groups - one was given the hormonal jabs, the other a placebo injection. They were then asked to eat as much as they liked from a buffet meal and asked questions about how hungry they felt.
    Those given the treatment felt less hungry and ate less than those who received the placebo. The effect was statistically significant, reducing the amount of food eaten by 15% to 25%.
    It is not the first time scientists have looked into using the body's hormones to control appetite. Several years ago, researchers pinned their hopes on leptin, a chemical also produced naturally by the body to keep a lid on appetite. Unfortunately, it did not work in trials. "Leptin is made by fat and fat people have very high levels of leptin and develop resistance - we have tested PP in fat people and it works fine," said Prof Bloom.
    Prof Bloom has been awarded £2.3m by the Wellcome Trust to develop his idea, one of the first awards made in the charity's £91m Seeding Drug Discovery Initiative.
    The cash will go into developing a way to get around PP's one weakness: when it gets into the blood, the hormone is immediately broken down by enzymes and quickly becomes ineffective. One approach is to identify how the hormone is broken down in the body and then chemically modify it to resist attack. Another tactic will be to investigate a way to put the hormone into a capsule so that it can leak out slowly into the blood over a week or so.
     
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  2. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Every fat chick who owns a thong should be given a case of this stuff to chew on, every week.
     
  3. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Gold Member

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    Fear of plumbers' butt Woodman? :D
     
  4. darawk

    darawk Gold Member

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    Quote's like this disgust me so much.
     
  5. Flimmar

    Flimmar Newbie

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    How come? I think it a great opportunity for overweight people having problems eating, and he believes, that it must be way cheaper, than getting your eating-capacity reduced with a surgery.

    But I think, that this should be a last resort for some people - a 18 year old highschool chick who think she eats too much shouldn't be eating this :)
     
  6. ojos_de_brujo

    ojos_de_brujo Silver Member

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    I don't believe there is a miracle cure for obesity. Having a best friend who is obese, Swim might add something to this discussion.
    Some quote:
    - People are obese because they eat too much.
    This is true. Even kids with Prader-Willie syndrome are obese because they eat too much.
    - So fat people should eat less and the epidemic is stopped.
    Not true. I would say 90 % of obese people have something, be it physical or mental, that is the underlying cause of why they eat so much in the first place. Some factors: hormonal problems, drugs (medicine), poverty, sexual abuse,...
    The first two are easy to understand. Poverty? Swim thinks this is most obvious in the USA. Poor people often can't afford healthy food (greens and fruits), they can not afford fitness clubs. They don't have money to go to the theatre, cultural events and so on, so what is their only amusement?
    T. V.
    And worse, poverty is proven to be hereditary. Most americans believe in the American dream, but this is absolute fiction. Less than 1% can make it.
    The only medicine to cure poverty is education, and let that be the one thing politicians always move funds away from.
    Swim's been to Haiti as an aid worker. The poorest quarters have some of the fattest people you've seen. They eat cheap, processed food, imported at dumping prices from the USA. That's all they can afford. No greens, no fruit. They eat lots of rice. Carbs make one feel happy and safe for a while. not unlike any other drug. The problem is people don't think of comfort food as a drug. So they think it's safe.

    Why do poor, uneducated people believe industrial food is safe? Because the food industry, advertising business, television, poliics, the _______FDA make them believe it is safe.
    It's very easy to put the blame on the obese people. But really, most of them don't know any better. Government should lower taxes on healthy food, help people pay their sport schools, give easy understandable information about food. But they don't. Why? There's a whole lot of money in the food industry and lots of it ends up in the pockets of your politicians.

    In the end, it's all about money.

    Sorry about the length of this post, this really is my dada, as I am a health food 'addict'. (I haven't even mentioned aroma's yet)