Doctors are experimenting with a new 'obesity vaccine.' Obesity is considered a disease; it is an epidemic in the U.S. and spreading quickly worldwide. But a vaccine for obesity, really? This sort of seems like another band-aid over the problem rather than a real solution.
The drug would help the body generate antibodies to somatostatin, which is a hormone in the body that inhibits the action of other hormones that increase the metabolism. The idea is that the vaccine would remove this inhibition "without directly interfering with the growth hormones and subsequently increasing energy expenditure and weight loss." This was tested on mice, and the vaccinated group had a 10% drop in body weight.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
So, is it safe to manipulate the body's hormonal chemistry like this? They aren't sure yet. The author of the study, Keith N. Haffer, says that overweight dogs and pigs may be tested next. Safe or not, many people are willing to try anything to lose weight. It also does not say how long people would have to keep this up, or how often they would need to be injected, so it could potentially be really expensive.
Perhaps this new obesity vaccine could make a small difference in the epidemic, but it would only be a tiny part of the solution. People need to start learning how to eat better, exercise more and make healthier choices, simple as that. It would be destructive if people used the drug and then thought they could just start eating whatever they wanted because of a little boost in their metabolism, which could easily happen. What do you think of the new vaccine? Would you try it?