Sunday, 20 May 2012

Drugs from Gila Monster Lizard Saliva Reduces Cravings for Chocolate and Ordinary Food



ScienceDaily (May 15, 2012) — A drug made from the saliva of the Gila monster lizard is effective in reducing the craving for food. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have tested the drug on rats, who after treatment ceased their cravings for ordinary food and also chocolate.

An increasing number of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes are offered a pharmaceutical preparation called Exenatide, which helps them to control their blood sugar. The drug is a synthetic version of a natural substance called exendin-4, which is obtained from a rather unusual source -- the saliva of the Gila monster lizard (Heloderma suspectum), North America's largest lizard.

Unexpected effect
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, have now found an entirely new and unexpected effect of the lizard substance.

Reduces cravings for food

In a study with rats published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Assistant Professor Karolina Skibicka and her colleagues show that exendin-4 effectively reduces the cravings for food.

"This is both unknown and quite unexpected effect," comments an enthusiastic Karolina Skibicka: "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."

Continued: 
 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515165405.htm

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