New vaccinations against obesity that could allow obese patients to eat as much junk food as they like and still lose weight are in development. As reported in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, a research team led by Dr. Keith Haffer, of US firm Braasch Biotech, and Mariana Monteiro from the University of Porto in Portugal have both developed new shots which could revolutionize the treatment of obese people
One shot works by tricking the immune system into creating antibodies against the hormone, ghrelin, which is produced in the gut and increases appetite. The other works in a similar way, creating antibodies against a hormone called somatostatin. This hormone is created by the brain and digestive system and causes the metabolism to slow by interacting with other hormones. By creating antibodies against this hormone the metabolism speeds up, allowing the patient to eat more calories and still lose weight. It was reported that levels of other hormones remain unchanged for both treatments.
The somatostatin treatment is only in the early stages of development, but tests on mice showed a 10 percent reduction in weight after just one shot. A further “booster” shot after three weeks helped to keep their weight in check.
Dr. Haffer said “this study demonstrates the possibility of treating obesity with vaccination. Although further studies are necessary to discover the long-term implications of these vaccines, treatment of human obesity with vaccination could provide physicians with a drug and a surgery-free option against the weight epidemic.”
The “miracle cure” is just a band-aid solution
In the UK there are several over-the-counter weight loss drugs, but only one prescription strength drug available. Xenical prevents the absorption of fats by the body but has unpleasant side effects such as stomach cramps and loose bowel control, in short it can act as an aggressive laxative.
The news of a “miracle cure” on the horizon will no doubt be welcomed by obesity doctors and patients alike. However, the idea that people with eating disorders, who consume large amounts of junk will be able to do so and keep slim, sounds too good to be true.
The effects of the excessive calories may be taken away by this drug, but it does not take away the effects of the food additives, the high levels of fat in the blood stream leading to narrowed arteries or the emotional issues that have led to overeating in the first place. Losing 10 percent of body weight will prevent, or delay, some deaths of obese people but in the end, the food addiction will still kill them.
The drug may allow people to eat large amounts of factory processed “food,” but they will then be dependent on the drug that keeps them slim. The food industry will sell more food, and Big Pharma will keep you slim on the outside but with the arteries of an obese person. It must be big business, because they have researched this for over 15 years, spending billions.
The only way to be healthy, the correct weight, and prevent the effects of the modern western diet is to steer clear of processed foods, eat a diet high in fresh produce and to exercise. To treat obesity, the reason for overeating needs to be addressed before the patient can be made well. Offering weight loss drugs to obese people is treating a symptom of obesity, not dealing with the cause.
Health-e-Solutions comment: Antibodies against 2 of your body’s naturally-occurring hormones does not sound like anything we want. We don’t like “solutions” that tinker with the delicate and intricate balance within the human body. Treating symptoms may have short term benefit in acute situations, but not for long term chronic conditions where lifestyle changes can get at root causes. Obesity, like diabetes, are predominantly caused by lifestyle choices and environmental factors. It is our opinion that it would be far better to change those rather than look for a miracle cure in a bottle.
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