Researchers Kim Janda and her colleagues at the Scripps Research Institute in California developed three vaccinations against ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger and facilitates the storage of sugar as fat.
The effectiveness of the vaccine was tested in laboratory rats and the study results are published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Further research and studies in this regard could offer clues that could lead to human treatment. It is a widely known fact that more than 1 billion people are suffering from obesity and that it contributes to other problems such as heart disease, various cancers, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis and depression. On the other hand drugs and other therapies have been largely unsuccessful.
This novel vaccine when administered on rats was found to be very effective. Ghrelin after reaching the CNS over long periods stimulates the retention of a level of stored energy as fat. The vaccine triggers the immune system to produce antibodies against the ghrelin. It was found that the animals that were vaccinated ate the same, drank the same, but their weight gain was slowed by a dramatic amount when compared to the one's that weren't vaccinated. Doctor Kim Janda said that though the vaccine is in its early experimental stages it could in the long run become a powerful weapon against obesity.