Appetite-suppression by oral consumption is realistic, latest research
Australian and U.S. scientists claim to have demonstrated for the first time that a hormone that helps people feel “full” after eating can be delivered into the bloodstream orally.
Scientists at Syracuse University, in New York, and Murdoch University, in Perth, Western Australia, led by chemist Dr Robert Doyle had their study published this week in the American Chemical Society’s ‘Journal of Medicinal Chemistry’.
The scientists are now hoping to find an application for the hormone as an ingredient, perhaps in chewing gum.
The hormone in question, called ‘PYY’, is part of a chemical system that regulates appetite and energy. When people eat or exercise, PYY is released into the bloodstream. The amount of PYY released increases with the number of calories consumed.
Dr Doyle said that PYY is an appetite-suppressing hormone. But, when taken orally, the hormone is destroyed in the stomach. That which is not destroyed has difficulty crossing into the bloodstream through the intestines.
He said, “What was needed was a way to disguise the PYY, allowing it to travel through the digestive system relatively unharmed.”
Several years ago, Dr Doyle developed a way to use vitamin B12 as a vehicle for the oral delivery of the hormone insulin. B12 is able to pass through the digestive system with relative ease and carry with it insulin, or other substances, into the bloodstream. Similarly, his research team attached the PYY hormone to his patent-pending vitamin B12 system successfully.
Dr Doyle said, “The next step involves finding ways to insert the B12-PYY system into such things as chewing gum or an oral tablet to create a nutritional supplement to assist individuals in losing weight in much the same way as nicotine-laced gum is used to help people stop smoking.”