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The Fat Vaccine

This could be good...

newphil.jpgAugust 11, 2006 - Researchers are testing a new anti-obesity vaccine. They say the drug has worked for animals and could eventually be used for humans.

Dr. Kim Janda of Scripps Research Institute says, "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. And that's not all, according to Dr. Janda, "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.

The article goes on to say that the vaccine works by tricking your body into treating ghrelin like a foreign substance. With ghrelin out of the picture, diet and exercise become a lot less significant. Without a molecule in there telling your body to make fat, your body will tend to treat fat like a disease -- something to resist and eliminate.

Now speaking as a guy who has spent the better part of the past year working on resisting and eliminating fat, I have a mixed reaction to this news. On the one hand, a shot like that would have made the past 32 weeks (and counting) a lot easier. On the other hand, if I had started taking a shot like that at the beginning of this year, would I have learned as much about eating healthy as I have? Would I have gotten as much exercise?

I'm thinking no, and -- um -- no. Unfortunately.

So the good news, for me, is not only that they're coming out with something like this, but that it won't be available for a while yet. I can go through this valuable learning experience of growing healthier and -- when the time comes -- maybe get a boost from this kind of treatment in maintaining the progress I've made.

Or maybe I won't need it at all, which would be fine, too.

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