The obese may just have a succor to turn to for help with their weight problems. According to a new study, injections of the gut hormone oxyntomodulin may assist the obese in getting back to shape. Incidentally, Oxyntomodulin is generated by the body, among other hormones that monitor the feelings of satiation, or Feeling Full.
Steve Bloom and colleagues at Imperial College London observed 15 healthy, overweight men and women. The study participants belonged to the age group of 23-49 years and were overweight with their BMI ranging from 25 to 39.
Each participant injected his or her abdomen with oxyntomodulin or salt water (placebo) just before having a meal. This process was executed 3 times a day for 4 days. During the first cycle, the participants used a placebo. The following cycles involved alternating between hormone shots and placebo shots, without exactly knowing what they were injecting.
The participants were all non smokers, did not follow any diet program or weight loss drugs, maintained stable weight 3 months prior to taking the test, and did not portray any abnormal eating patterns. The experiment was conducted in a research lab after fasting the night before and avoiding alcohol and strenuous exercise for 24 hrs prior to beginning the schedule.
After injecting themselves with the first injection, the participants were served a meal consisting of chicken curry, mushroom stroganoff. Participants seemed to enjoy the food and experienced hunger pangs as usual before the meal. The study found that those who had received the hormone shot consumed at least 128 calories less at the meal.
The participants were able to monitor the number of calories burned, with devices strapped on their body that recorded the number of burned calories. It was observed that the participants burned 143 calories additionally per day with the hormone shots, as compared to the placebo injections. The hormone injections did not seem to alter the number of calories burned during rest. The participants managed to lose a pound of weight after using the hormone shots for four days, though it is not clear if they lost body mass or fluids.
The results of the study have been published online in the International Journal of Obesity.