As revealed by a new University of Gothenburg study, Gila monster - a venomous lizard native to North America – can have a major role to play in treating obesity.
The saliva of the giant lizard is found to contain a compound that can make a person feel less hungry, the researchers noted on the basis of a lab experiment with mice. The same compound, clinically called exendin-4, is also used in a diabetes drug.
The lab rats used in the study showed reduced hunger pangs after being given exendin-4 – an outcome which was both “unknown” and “unexpected”, said lead study author Prof Karolina Skibicka. Based on the observation, she and her colleagues concluded that the compound comes in the way of the brain's reward mechanism.
Reckoning that the finding could help develop a treatment for compulsive binge-eating, the scientists are hopeful that the natural substance can treat obesity from its root, battling the desire to devour foods excessively, and allowing seriously overweight people to work towards a healthier lifestyle change.
"Most dieting fails because we are obsessed with the desire to eat, especially tempting foods like sweets. As exendin-4 suppresses the cravings for food, it can help obese people to take control of their weight", said co-author Suzanne Dickson.
Gila monster is known to be the biggest lizard in North America and even though it is venomous, it does not usually pose any mortal threat to humans because of its slothfulness.Add Comment
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