Drug from lizard saliva reduces craving for food
Researchers have found that a drug derived from the saliva of a monster lizard has an ability to reduce the craving for food, including chocolate.
A large number of patients affected with type 2 diabetes are given a drug called Exenatide, in order to control their blood sugar. The drug was made from a natural substance called exendin-4, found in the saliva of the largest lizard Gila found in North America.
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy in University of Gothenburg have now found an entirely new and unexpected result of the lizard substance, the Journal of Neuroscience reports.
The team of researchers conducted their study on rats, Assistant Professor Karolina Skibicka and her teams showed that exendin-4 is effective in reducing the craving for food. "This is both unknown and quite unexpected effect," said Skibicka, as per a Gothenburg statement.
"Our decision to eat is linked to the same mechanisms in the brain which control addictive behaviours. We have shown that exendin-4 affects the reward and motivation regions of the brain," Skibicka has been quoted as saying.
"Most dieting fails because we are obsessed with the desire to eat, especially tempting foods like sweets. As exendin-4 suppresses the craving for food, it can help obese people to take control of their weight,? Suzanne Dickson, professor of physiology at Sahlgrenska opined.
"It is the same brain regions which are involved in food and alcohol craving, so it would be very interesting to test whether exendin-4 also reduces the craving for alcohol," Skibicka has been quoted as saying.
--with inputs from IANS
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