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Stomach Injection May Fight Obesity

Armen Hareyan's picture

There is a new and interesting way toprovide obesity treatment. An injection to certain blood vessels in stomach suppressed appetite hormone in pigs and may offer an easy way to fight obesity in humans.

Scientists from John Hopkins University School of Medicine examined 10 growing, young, healthy pigs. Researchers chose pigs for the obesity study because they have anatomy very similar to humans.

The pigs were injected a chemical in blood vessels supplying certain parts of stomach. The injection was found to significantly - by 60% - reduce the amount of produced hunger hormone ghrelin in pigs. The pigs ate significantly less food and lost weight successfully.

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Researchers gave the name gastric artery chemical embolization (GACE) to the injection procedure and the injected chemical itself is called sodium morrhuate. Sodium morrhuate successfully destroyed specific areas of blood vessels producing hunger hormone.

The scientists, who conducted this obesity treatment study, mention that pig studies are more easy than human ones because animals eat only when they are hungry, while humans may eat not only because of physiological, but also psychological needs.

Currently, the most successful and widely available weight loss treatment is gastric bypass surgery. Although the surgery is successful, a single injection treatment would be better for both patients and doctors, because it is easy to perform and patients can recover quickly.

Gastric bypass surgery works by cutting stomach to a smaller size and limiting the amount of consumed food. The surgery is being performed in about 205000 US patients annually. Sodium morrhuate seemed to give the same results in pigs as the surgery does.

Now the researchers are looking for ways to conduct similar studies in obese people and develop a better treatment for those who want to lose weight effectively and safely.