Just in time for that big Thanksgiving binge comes exciting news from the world of weight loss. Experts often recommend chewing gum when you get a food craving instead of chewing on an Oreo. (Because that piece of minty sugarless gum is a fantastic substitute for a cookie. Anyway.) Medical weight loss researchers may take that concept a bit further by producing a gum that contains an ingredient which makes you feel full so you won't eat, and hopefully, will lose weight.
We were flipping through our copy of the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (kidding! we read about it in the New York Daily News) which published findings from a study about delivering a weight loss hormone orally to help people lose weight.
The hormone, called PYY, suppresses appetite. Basically when you eat a big meal, PYY is naturally released into your bloodstream, which makes you want to stop eating. Obese people have been shown to have less PYY in their bloodstream. So it's a known factor in appetite suppression, and Syracuse University notes that it can be given intravenously to make people eat less. That's historically been a problem making this a viable weight loss option, because IV delivery is less than ideal, and PYY gets destroyed in the stomach when taken orally and whatever's left can't be absorbed.
But scientists figured out that if you add PYY to Vitamin B12, you can give it orally. They're now playing around with gum as one vehicle to deliver the PYY/B12 cocktail, sort of like nicotine gums. Obviously this is far away from becoming a reality, but it sounds promising...if you don't mind chewing gum chock full of hormones.