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Vaccine to tackle obesity

4th August 2006

Research in the US has paved the way for a vaccine which prevents weight gain by speeding up the metabolism, allowing people to eat normally.

The vaccine has already proved successful on rats, and the team at Scripps Research Institute in California found it prompts the body to produce antibodies against ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger and weight gain.

Vaccinated rats put on less weight while eating the same amount as those which did not have the jab, suggesting it affected the animals’ metabolism.

When injected into rats, two of the vaccines were found to bind to the active form of ghrelin, inducing antibodies against the hormone and blocking its action.
Obesity experts have warned the vaccine might not be suitable or safe for people.

The authors believe active immunisation against ghrelin could be used to control weight gain and accumulation of fat tissue in mammals.

 

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