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Injections to Make People Feel Full, Eat Less

Even though by now most experts agree the best way to lose weight is with diet and lifestyle changes, it seems we're always on the lookout for a "magic bullet" that will help people shed pounds without having to put in any effort. The latest method is an injection of a digestive hormone called oxyntomodulin, which is released in the small intestine, that researchers say could help people feel full and help to stem the world's growing obesity epidemic.

In short, the injection switches off the appetite so people eat less. In a four-week trial, volunteers given three injections lost an average of five pounds, while those given placebo injections lost an average of one pound. Patients given the injection also had reduced levels of leptin, a protein responsible for regulating the body's energy expenditure.

Researchers said they initially envision the injections as a treatment for people who are overweight or obese and have a medical problem. But once it is established it could be rolled out more widely. They've developed a once-a-day injection and are looking into delivering the treatment through a nasal spray.

But why fool your body into feeling full when you can enjoy all kinds of healthy foods that will fill you up without filling you out? This is especially true when you combine it with exercise and a program to help you deal with the emotional issues that may be driving you to overeat.

Reuters July 25, 2005

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