Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Vaccine slows hunger hormone, keeps rats slim

There may be hope for me after all...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A vaccine that slows down a key hunger hormone kept rats from gaining weight, even when they over ate, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

The team at The Scripps Research Institute in California cautioned that such a vaccine is a long way from being tested in human volunteers, and that it may not work in people.

But the study shed light on how hunger and weight gain work, they reported in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The vaccine targeted ghrelin, a hormone discovered in 1999 that helps control appetite in animals and people.

"It appears that active vaccination against ghrelin is one avenue that can slow weight gain and fat build-up in the body," said Kim Janda, a chemistry professor who helped direct the study.

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