New Vaccine Prevents Weight Gain And Stimulates Weight Loss
In their effort to combat obesity, researchers have discovered a vaccine that prevents weight gain and stimulates weight loss. According to a study published in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, the researchers were able to induce weight loss following the administration of two vaccinations based on somatostatin , JH17 and JH18, in mice.
Somatostatin, hormone known as GHIH, is an inhibitor of growth hormone. Growth hormone is an anabolic peptide hormone that stimulates not only growth, cell reproduction and regeneration, but also increases metabolism and therefore promotes weight loss. Researchers have thought that by injecting somatostatin, the body will react and produce antibodies against somatostatin, therefore the inhibitory action of somatostatin on growth hormone will be canceled. Consequently, growth hormone will increase the metabolism without being inhibited by somatostatin. Besides stimulating lipolysis, growth hormone has a role in stimulating protein synthesis, muscle growth and bone mineralization.
Researchers conducted the study on two groups of mice: one group consisting of 10 mice with induced-obesity and the control group. The group of obese mice received two vaccinations of modified somatostatin (first vaccine in the first day of the study and the second – study day 22). The control group received saline injections. Obese mice were fed a high fat diet eight weeks before the study and six weeks during the study. After 4 days from the first vaccine, researchers found a decrease of 10% of body weight among obese mice, observation that was not noted in the control group. At the end of the study scientists observed that the vaccines caused the appearance of anti-somatostatin antibodies and a reduction in weight by 10%. It should be noted that researchers used a modified form of somatostatin that has not influenced the level or activity of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) or insulin.
Only time will tell if this vaccine will have similar results in humans. The idea of such a vaccine against obesity is not completely new. Not so long ago, researchers created a vaccine based on ghrelin, a hormone with a role in appetite control. Ghrelin stimulates fat storage for energy. Researchers have thought that by suppressing ghrelin, fatty deposits will be destroyed. The idea was based on immune stimulation and anti-ghrelin antibody production.
Obesity is one of the most important problems of the modern society. It is already known that obesity is associated with various cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Despite researchers attempts to discover a vaccine against obesity, at present the only successful therapy for weight loss is based on diet, sports and some surgical interventions.