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The Flab Jab - Vaccination Against Obesity
The Flab Jab - The Future of Weight Control
Straight Out of the Movies
The "flab jab" would seem to be the stuff of which sci fi movies are made, but could future generations really be vaccinated against obesity in the same way as we currently vaccinate against other illnesses such as polio, diphtheria and tetanus.
Well if recently released results of trials held are any indication, the answer would have to be that it could be a definite possibility!
Could this vaccination be signalling the death knell of the multi-billion dollar weight loss and diet industry.
More importantly could this vaccination be the magic bullet that can turn around the obesity health time bomb, that is ticking in many countries across the world.
How Does the "Flab Jab" Work
The vaccination works by introducing modified somatostatin to the body so that it is encouraged to produce antibodies to somatostatin.
Building an immunity to somatostatin, a peptide hormone, helps to treat obesity because somatostatin inhibits the action of two chemicals in the body, growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which act to increase metabolic rate thereby increasing the number of calories burned.
How Were the Trials Carried Out
The research was carried out using three groups of ten diet-induced obese male mice. Two groups received slightly differing variations of the vaccine, while the control group received injections of saline solution.
The mice in all three groups were fed a high fat diet for eight weeks before the study started and they continued with the same diet for the whole of the six week study.
The vaccination took place on day 1 with a booster being administered on day 22.
Could a Simple "Flab Jab" Prevent This Happening
This article provides details of research published in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology on 9 July 2012.
What Were the Results of the Trials
Four days into the trial the mice vaccinated with the modified somatostatin showed a 10 per cent drop in body weight which was not seen in the control group.
The reduced body weight was maintained through the period of the study and test showed that both variations of the vaccine had caused the production of somatostatin antibodies without any changes of the growth hormones or insulin.
Well there is information which indicates that a similar type of study carried out using pigs showed that the vaccine was effective in much lower doses that given to the mice.
But there is a great deal more research needed and clinical trials to be carried out on other animals before testing can begin will real people. All of this means that we are likely to be very many years away from this treatment reaching the market, assuming of course that all runs smoothly along the way.