Obesity Vaccine - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/11/06

Obesity Vaccine

Eat what you want and never gain weight. That's been a dream for most people and scientists at the Scripps Research Institute say now it may be possible someday if a new obesity vaccine works as well in people as it does in animals.

This vaccine simply blocks a certain molecule called Ghrelin which they believe is a strong trigger for hunger.  "What we've been able to show is that animals will eat the same as ones that aren't vaccinated but they will not put weight on. The way the vaccine works right now, you'd need several shots and it would last for several months and then you'd get a booster and it would last for another few months," said Kimi Janda of the Scripps Research Institution.

The shots send antibodies that bind to Ghrelin to stop it from reaching its target in the brain. By missing the target, scientists believe your own immune system could fight off fat like it would fight an infection without even changing your eating habits. At least that's what it's doing in the lab. More study is needed before it can be tested on people.

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