Hemopressin - A natural way to curb appetite?
While researching for another hub I stumbled across an article in the Daily Mail about Hemopressin with the headline “Chemical that can stop you eating for pleasure is discovered by British scientists”.
Finding a successful appetite suppressant is the search for the Holy Grail in the Weight Loss Industry and the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis thought that they had found this licence to print money five or six years ago when they launched “Rimonabant” a synthetic appetite suppressant in 38 countries. They were not able to gain US FDA approval before the drug was withdrawn from the market because “Rimonabant” as well as providing successful weight loss it also appeared to cause psychiatric symptoms ranging from anxiety and panic attacks to depression and increased suicidal thoughts in some users.
As I read the article I began to think that perhaps Hemopressin was the Holy Grail
- Hemopressin is a naturally occurring Peptide
- Hemopressin works by blocking the areas of the brain which send out the pleasurable messages we get when we enjoy that tub of Ben and Jerry’s or that Hershey’s Bar.
- Hemopressin would also work by blocking these messages in other circumstances such as drug or alcohol addiction.
The study on which the article had been based had some good credentials.
- It was published in “The Journal of Neuroscience”.
- The study was carried out researchers at the University of Manchester.
My further research has shown that the study was funded by the British Society of Neuroendocrinology and the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes and it was undertaken by researchers from the University of Mainz in Germany as well as the University of Manchester in the UK.
As I read on I then realised that I had been suckered in by the article as the study had been undertaken on rats and mice! So we will have to wait some time to find whether Hemopressin is the Holy Grail.
A Rat in need of Hemopressin!
However the article was enough to make me decide to find out a little more.
Hemopressin is a chemical protein produced in the rodent brain which affects blood pressure and pain sensation as well as the part of the brain associated with hunger. For those of you who like technical detail this part of the brain is the cannabinoid receptor also known as CB1 and this is why the study is titled “The Peptide Hemopressin Acts through CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors to Reduce Food Intake in Rats and Mice”.
I am not providing a detailed explanation of the experiments and research which were undertaken as I know that many people feel very strongly about any type of animal experimentation. However the research undertaken showed that Hemopressin decreased the amount of food eaten by the rodents without any obvious adverse side effects or behavioural actions.
In conclusion we are a very long way from Hemopressin being launched as an anti-obesity drug in any country as the successful results from the research carried out on rodents does not translate in to successful results on humans. Further successful and side effect free animal research will be needed before initial human trials can commence.