US scientists have developed an anti-obesity vaccine that significantly slowed weight gain and cut body fat in animals.
Mature male rats that received the jab ate normally yet gained less weight and had less body fat, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The vaccine, described by an American team in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may be especially important to stop "yo-yo dieting".
The vaccine acts against ghrelin, a naturally occurring hormone that helps to regulate energy balance in the body.
Prof Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute, California, said: "Our study is the first published evidence proving that preventing ghrelin from reaching the central nervous system can produce a desired reduction in weight gain."
According to the World Health Organization, about one billion people worldwide are overweight or obese.
Prof Janda told The Daily Telegraph: "We could speed quickly into human trials, maybe in a year, but we are going to be more cautious."
Not sure how serious to take this one. The Genotrim solution to obesity that I posted about half a year ago is said by some to be a scam.
That scam link is, unfortunately, in Dutch. Pulling it through a translator gave me an error, which is also unfortunate.
Luckily I've got common sense though. Genotrim was supposed to be on Oprah and there was supposed to be shown proof that it worked. More than half a year has gone by, and I haven't seen anything yet.
I'm sure we'll see a solution to obesity sometime in the future. Say... in the coming biotech era which is ready to take off anytime now. But in the meantime, it's important to keep applying common sense to all media coverage on 'obesity solutions'.
Th article Obesity Vaccine Looks Promising has some more details than the one I linked to above.
Researchers are reporting progress toward what would be a dream come true for many Americans: a vaccine to prevent obesity.
The target of this vaccine is ghrelin, a recently discovered hormone that decreases energy expenditure and fat breakdown. Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in California reported in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have developed a way to make the immune system produce antibodies that attack ghrelin, and that rats given the vaccine ate normally but lost weight.
"We have enabled the immune system to recognize a molecule that it ordinarily won't recognize," explained study author Kim D. Janda, a professor of chemistry at Scripps.
The immune system thus produced antibodies that bound to and deactivated ghrelin, just as vaccines against diseases caused by bacteria or viruses bind to and inactivate them.
Mice given shots of the vaccine ate just as much as untreated mice but had "about a 20 or 30 percent reduction in weight gain," Janda said.
His best guess is that a first human trial is "about two years" away. The Scripps group is looking to link up with a major pharmaceutical company to help develop a usable vaccine, Janda said.