A weight loss injection that mimics gastric bypass surgery was proven effective in a human trial conducted by scientists at London’s Imperial College. It’s being called “the most exciting” advance ever in treating obesity.
The researchers said patients participating in the trial ate about 30 percent less food after being treated with the hormone injection, The Telegraph reported, and in some cases patients were able to ditch their diabetes medication because of the resulting weight loss.
The Sun reported 20 patients participated in the trial in which they took three hormones through a patch and a pump for 28 days. Each participant lost from four to five pounds, which was almost as effective as weight loss surgery.
Gastric bypass involves major surgery that usually involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting the newly created pouch directly to the small intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The surgery is one of the most common types of bariatric surgery in the United States and is done when diet and exercise have not worked or when a patient has serious health problems because of weight.
The Sun noted there’s belief that gastric band surgery works not only by reducing the amount of food held in the stomach but also by elevating levels of satiety hormones, leading to altered cravings.
The new injections reportedly reproduce those satiety hormones without the need for an operation.
“While wearing the pump, you feel less hungry and you stop eating earlier,” said Tricia Tan, who formulated the hormones, per The Sun.
“The sensation is like after you have eaten a big meal and you feel really full. What is even more exciting is that we are able to normalize blood sugar levels and they can come off diabetes medications.”
Steve Bloom, who lead the research and is Imperial’s head of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, told The Telegraph he hopes the monthly injection therapy will be available within five years.
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