Weight Loss Surgery Pill Shows Promise

Weight loss surgery in a pill? That’s the aim of researchers at two Midwestern universities, who have discovered that treatment with a synthetic hormone can dramatically increase weight loss and reduce the amount of fat in the body.

wls pillImagine a pill that does everything that weight loss surgery does – with no bad side effects.

Although it sounds like the kind of promise made in a questionable ad in the back of a magazine, the pill does exist. Problem is, so far it’s only been used on mice.

Research from a team of biochemists from Indiana University in Bloomington and the University of Cincinnati showed a startling 25 percent body weight loss and 42 percent fat mass loss in mice that were treated with a synthetic hormone of glucagon and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), two peptides that have been shown to increase the body’s calorie burn.

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According to researchers, animals and humans who receive treatments of glucagon eat less and burn off what they did eat much more quickly than normal. They say that by combining than two peptides into a single molecule, they may have produced a magic bullet against obesity.

In an experiment, the researchers gave their new drug cocktail to a group of obese test mice. After receiving single dose, the chubby mice immediately lost 25 percent of their excess weight. And, after one month of treatment, all had dropped back to their ideal weight.

Testing on humans is next. Indiana University has inked a licensing agreement with a biotech firm and is partnering with pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck to eventually start human trials.

Ten years from now, if all goes well, this new wonder drug could be available to people who need it.

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