Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Lose Real Weight With Imaginary Meals

Stephen Leacock's famous story about the baby who swallowed a pill containing thirteen thanksgiving dinners (just add water) has been overtaken by real life. Roll back the obesity epidemic with a pill that mimics the body's response to food, turning fat digestion on and cleverly doing this in the guts, thus avoiding your blood stream where it would have turned on all the other organs that process dinner.  Fat is burned but you won't feel hungry.  With few side effects likely, expect human trials of Fexaramine soon.
"Evans wondered whether switching on FXR only in the intestines -- rather than the intestines, liver, kidneys and adrenal glands all at once -- might have a different outcome. "When you eat, you have to quickly activate a series of responses all throughout the body," says Evans. "And the reality is that the very first responder for all this is the intestine."
When the group gave obese mice a daily pill of fexaramine for five weeks, the mice stopped gaining weight, lost fat and had lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels than untreated mice. In addition, the mice had a rise in body temperature -- which signals metabolism ramping up -- and some deposits of white fat in their bodies converted into a healthier, energy-burning beige form of the tissue. (Reported in Science Daily News).
Fexaramine acts on the FXR receptor protein that our own body turns on when we start a meal.    It "triggers the release of bile acids for digestion, but also changes blood sugar levels and causes the body to burn some fats in preparation for the incoming meal."

"I see from the current columns of the daily press that
"Professor Plumb, of the University of Chicago, has just
invented a highly concentrated form of food. All the
essential nutritive elements are put together in the form
of pellets, each of which contains from one to two hundred
times as much nourishment as an ounce of an ordinary
article of diet. These pellets, diluted with water, will form all that is necessary to support life. The professor looks forward confidently to revolutionizing the present food system." ..... The expectant whispers of the little ones were hushed as the father, rising from his chair, lifted the thimble and disclosed a small pill of concentrated nourishment on the chip before him. Christmas turkey, cranberry sauce, plum  pudding, mince pie--it was all there, all jammed into that little pill and only waiting to expand. Then the father with deep reverence, and a devout eye alternating between the pill and heaven, lifted his voice in a benediction.         At this moment there was an agonized cry from the mother.
"Oh, Henry, quick! Baby has snatched the pill!" It was too true. Dear little Gustavus Adolphus, the golden-haired baby boy, had grabbed the whole Christmas dinner off the poker chip and bolted it. Three hundred and fifty pounds of concentrated nourishment passed down the oesophagus
of the unthinking child.
"Clap him on the back!" cried the distracted mother. "Give him water!"
The idea was fatal
The water striking the pill caused it to expand. There was a dull rumbling sound and then, with an awful bang, Gustavus Adolphus exploded into fragments! And when they gathered the little corpse together, the baby lips were parted in a lingering smile that could
only be worn by a child who had eaten thirteen Christmas dinners."