Scientists from the Scripps Research Insitute have developed an anti-obesity vaccine that targets the hormone ghrelin, which plays a role in regulating energy expenditure and fat storage.
During periods of weight loss, such as dieting, the body produces high levels of ghrelin to slow down fat metabolism, encourage eating, and promote fat retention, changes which normally make it difficult to lose weight and keep it off.
The vaccine works be inhibiting ghrelin from reaching the brain and thus prevent the cascade of metabolic reactions that, collectively and ultimately, prevents weight loss. Tests using animal models demonstrated that vaccinated rats ate normally yet gained less weight and had less body fat. Read the full feature story from Scripps and the news report from Reuters.