A research team at Imperial College, London, has come up
with a novel way of delivering naturally occurring hormones that play a part in
the regulation of appetite. Having studied the outcome of patients who have undergone
gastric bypass surgery, researchers have discerned that the reduction in
appetite and eating pattern observed is likely to be due to a change in the
hormone production following surgery. The reduced appetite is not a direct
result of the reduced size of the stomach but of the levels of satiety hormones
released by the body.
The research team has found a way of mimicking the effects
of gastric bypass surgery by introducing the satiety hormones artificially. The
hormone would only need to be injected once a week to provide the optimal
effect according to initial studies.
If the safety and efficacy of this weekly injection can be
established in wider population trials, this could revolutionise the way that
we treat obese patients. Gastric bypass surgery is highly effective but it is
simply not a practicable solution for everyone who is overweight or obese. This
weekly injection may provide the solution but it is many years away from being
an approved treatment.
At the current time we have a daily injection
called Victoza that can be prescribed off-label for weight loss patients.
Victoza contains one of the synthetic hormones contained in the weekly
injection about to be trialled by the researchers at Imperial College. To check
if you are eligible to be prescribed Victoza, please feel free to take a free
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