Obesity vaccine could help fight the battle of the bulge
NEW YORK, July 10 ― A new vaccine for obesity, dubbed "flab jab," has shown promising early results in mouse studies -- with scientists saying it could provide a "revolutionary" new tool agains the global obesity epidemic if it continues to pass further safety trials.
According to a press release on July 8 on the new research, the vaccine works by stimulating the immune system to attack a hormone that promotes slow metabolism and weight gain.
In tests, obese mice fed a high fat diet saw a 10 per cent drop in body weight four days after receiving the vaccine. Researchers looked at two slightly different versions of the vaccine, with both producing a sustained 10 per cent reduction in body weight after booster injections 22 days later.
To curb obesity, the new vaccine uses a modified form of somatostatin, a peptide protein molecule that works as a hormone. In both mice and humans, somatostatin suppresses growth hormones that boost metabolism and cause weight loss. The research was published in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology.
While the mice received large amounts of the vaccine, a recent unpublished study in pigs suggested the vaccine is effective at much lower doses, according to The Telegraph in the UK. Future research will look at the vaccine's effects in obese pigs and dogs before starting human trials.
US regulators recently approved the first drug to treat obesity in 13 years, a drug called lorcaserin, marketed as Belviq and made by Arena Pharmaceuticals. The drug works to control appetite through receptors in the brain and was approved as additional therapy for certain overweight and obese patients, combined with diet and exercise.
Last June, researchers at the University of Porto in Portugal presented their findings for a new therapeutic vaccine to treat obesity by suppressing the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin in mice. ― AFP-Relaxnews