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Anti-Obesity Vaccine Shows Promise

Anti-Obesity Vaccine Shows Promise


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NBC's Peggy Pico Reporting Some researchers think they've found a way around the old-fashioned weight loss tactics of eating right and exercise. It's a new development called the anti-obesity vaccine.

Weight loss in a vaccine bottle; it's a scientific breakthrough that may lead to a vaccination against obesity.

Kim Janda, Sripps Research Institute: "What we've done is taken a molecule known as ghrelin, which is known to be involved in hunger and also fat metabolism, and we've made a vaccine against this molecule known as ghrelin."

Ghrelin makes you hungry, slows your metabolism and tells your body to store fat.

Kim Janda, Scripps Research Institute: "It's also involved in fat storage. So basically, when it's high, your metabolism slows down."

Unlike other weight loss drugs or appetite suppressants, the vaccine doesn't work by speeding up your metabolism. Instead, it's said to simply block the effects of ghrelin.

Kim Janda, Scripps Research Institute: "What we've done is created antibodies that will bind to ghrelin that stops ghrelin from reaching its target in the brain."

Missing its target in the brain means your own immune system could fight off fat like it would an infection.

Kim Janda, Scripps Research Institute: "To basically recognize ghrelin as a foreign material and to remove it."

No diet or change in eating habits would be required.

Kim Janda, Scripps Research Institute: "What we've been able to show is that animals will eat the same as ones that aren't vaccinated, but they will not put weight on."

It wouldn't be a one time shot.

Kim Janda, Scripps Research Institute: "The way the vaccine works right now, you'd need several shots and it would last for several months, and then you'd get a booster and it would last for another few months."

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