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Take a Pill, Stop Being Hungry
Leptin is a hormone that essentially tells our brain when we're no longer hungry. A group of researchers at the Universite de Montreal are developing a pill that harnesses this protein and hope to start animal testing it in 2010.
In previous studies, mice deprived of leptin did not know when to stop eating, becoming morbidly obese (amusing images of cantaloupe-shaped mice rolling around their cage like soccer balls fill my head).
Post-doctoral student, Phillipe Cammisotto, is developing a pill that would harness the appetite-suppressing abilities of leptin.
"Taken orally, such a pill would provide obese people with the sensation of being full," states Dr. Cammisotto. "They would eat less and in turn lose weight."
Morbidly obese people sometimes have a deprivation of leptin within their system - deprived of the hormonal signal that they are full, they are literally always hungry. When administered recombinant human leptin, only the most obese subjects showed a significant weight loss, so a pill-administered leptin agent may not be as effective for those just wanting to lose a couple of pounds.
Source: Science Daily