Simple Shot for Obesity?
AN obesity vaccine that uses the immune system to help keep the
body slim has been developed in the USA.
Dubbed the "flab jab", the vaccine has shown promising early
results in mouse studies. Scientists believe it could provide a new
weapon against obesity.
The vaccine works by stimulating the immune system to attack a
hormone that promotes slow metabolism and weight gain.
In tests, obese mice fed a high fat diet saw a 10% drop in body
weight four days after receiving the jab.
Dr Keith Haffer, from Braasch Biotech in South Dakota, said:
"Although further studies are necessary to discover the long-term
implications of these vaccines, treatment of human obesity with
vaccination could provide physicians with a drug and surgical-free
option against the weight epidemic."
Being obese is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) - a
measurement relating height and weight - of 30 or more.
Research published last year in The Lancet showed that almost
half of all British men could be obese within 20 years. The
proportion of men meeting the clinical definition of obesity was
predicted to rise from around 20% to between 41% and 48%. By 2030,
four in 10 British women could be at obese weight levels, the
Up to 30,000 Britons die prematurely every year from obesity-
related conditions. It is estimated to cost the NHS about
pound(s)500 million a year, and the economy more than pound(s)2
Further research will look at the jab's effects in pigs and dogs
before human trials.
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