August 17, 2005
Hormone Oxyntomodulin Causes Weight Loss By Appetite Reduction

Hormone oxyntomodulin may provide the solution to obesity.

A hormone found in the small intestine has provided a crucial breakthrough in developing new drugs to tackle the growing obesity epidemic, claim scientists. Obesity now affects more than half of all UK adults, costing the UK up to 3.7 billion a year in sickness absence and treatments.

In an article published today in Diabetes, the world's top diabetes research journal, a team from Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust has used injections of oxyntomodulin, a naturally occurring digestive hormone found in the small intestine, to reduce body weight and calorific intake in overweight volunteers.

The injections boost existing levels of oxyntomodulin, normally released from the small intestine as food is consumed, signalling to the brain that the body is full and has had enough to eat.

Professor Steve Bloom, senior researcher at Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospital, says: "The discovery that oxyntomodulin can be effective in reducing weight could be an important step in tackling the rising levels of obesity in society. Not only is it naturally occurring, so has virtually no side effects, it could be ideal for general use as it can be self administered. Despite this, we still need to conduct larger clinical trials to test its effectiveness over longer periods."

The researchers found that over four weeks, injections of oxyntomodulin three times a day in 14 volunteers reduced their body weight by an average of 2.3kg. They also found that daily energy intake by the test group was reduced by an average of 170kcal after the first injection, to 250kcal at the end of four weeks. The average recommended intake is 2500 kcal per day for men, and 1940 for women.

The researchers also found that volunteers in the study group had lesser appetites without a reduction in food palatability.

Note the unfortunate need to inject the hormone. In the longer run I can imagine a way to avoid the need for injection. Cells genetically engineered to make oxyntomodulin could be implanted in the body With sufficiently sophisticated genetic engineering the cells could be designed to only secrete the oxyntomodulin when some activating drug is taken. That would provde a way to avoid the risk of excessive skinniness and even starvation.

The subjects receiving oxyntomodulin had less leptin and adipose hormones in their blood.

The study found that leptin, a protein responsible for regulating the body's energy expenditure was reduced in the study group. They also found reduced levels of adipose hormones, a hormone which encourages the build up of adipose tissues, a type of tissue where fat cells are stored.

The lead researcher has unsurprisingly wasted no time in creating a company to commercialize this discovery.

Professor Bloom has set up a spin-out company, Thiakis, to commercialise this discovery, and run further trials.

Expect obesity to be rare 20 years from now. It is a lot easier to solve than a lot of other behavior disorders because the bloodstream carries messages to the brain that change whether we feel full or sated or hungry. Behavioral problems that occur entirely within the brain are much less tractable.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2005 August 17 11:49 PM  Brain Appetite


Comments
Brett Bellmore said at August 18, 2005 3:09 AM:

Alternatively to genetic engineering, it is often the case with a protien, that only a small part of the molecule is actually of any biological relevance, and the rest is only scafolding to hold that bit together. A relatively small artificial molecule might duplicate just the binding site well enough to produce the same effects, and yet be small enough to penetrate the gut.

Nick said at August 18, 2005 11:19 AM:

Wouldn't a patch (like testosterone, or birth control) work for this?

Randall Parker said at August 18, 2005 12:51 PM:

Nick,

Testosterone is not a protein. In fact, it is made by modifying cholesterol and is a 4 ringed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon.

I am guessing that oxyntomodulin is a protein. In fact, some quick googling turns up the fact that oxyntomodulin is a 37 amino acid peptide. So it is not going to get absorbed thru the skin.

Insulin has the same problem. That is why people take it my injection. Lots of efforts are underway to solve that and people have been pursuing an oral or nasal or skin delivery route for insulin for years.

Brett Bellmore said at August 18, 2005 3:07 PM:

Ok, as a polipeptide of that size, it's not likely you could get the effect with a considerably smaller synthetic molecule. On the other hand, it's half the size of insulin, so it should be easier to get across membranes.

MSmith said at August 19, 2005 7:22 AM:

Is it found "in" the small intestine in the same way food is "in" the small intestine? Or is it in the small intestine tissue?

If it is the former, a pill would just have to make it past the stomach before dissolving. Plenty of pills like that already exist.

Brett Bellmore said at August 19, 2005 5:13 PM:

The latter.

Rhandi said at August 22, 2005 11:55 AM:

There are worse things than having to take injections. Morbidly obese people contemplating radical bariatric surgery probably understand that. Ultimately, obesity is a disease of the brain. One of the other sides of anorexia. If the brain is satisfied, the body has to make do.

SScales said at August 30, 2005 10:00 AM:

How much oxyntomodulin is normally found in the small intestine? Does it differ with people that are overweight? How much will the drug increase the hormone and what effects will this increase have on normal body functions?

SScales said at August 30, 2005 10:01 AM:

How much oxyntomodulin is normally found in the small intestine? Does it differ with people that are overweight? How much will the drug increase the hormone and what effects will this increase have on normal body functions?

Gabriella Atilano said at October 27, 2005 1:24 PM:

When will this hormone be available on the market? Or if already available where can I find it. Please contact me at gatilano@goldensecurity.com or at (626) 825-7016 USA.

Rick Love said at November 13, 2005 7:42 AM:

How does oxyntomodulin differ from the commercially availalbe exenatide (Byetta)? Both are injected, but exenatide is a synthetic version of a hormone (exendin-4) and only mimics the natural physiology.

LMcNally said at March 31, 2006 12:18 PM:

So is this available yet over the counter or even through a doctor's office?

Al Sabagh said at April 27, 2006 3:27 AM:

Is it found in some kind of plant or herbs that I can take for now until they commercialize the discovery?

Thanks

samar said at May 2, 2006 11:07 PM:

Great , kindly let me know how this can be obtained -the generic names in the States and in Europe please.
Thanks alot for this news which gives me alot of hope!

Muhammad Usman said at May 10, 2006 8:43 PM:

I am 29 year my height is 71 inches my weight is 100kg how I can reduce my weight.
Thank you.

Tonya Johnson said at April 6, 2007 6:34 PM:

Where and how can these injections be purchased?

lizelle dizon said at June 10, 2007 12:59 AM:

please send me a complete inforemation about this product because iam interested to take this drug to combat obesity.thank you in advance.God bless

Renee Levow said at June 24, 2008 2:00 PM:

My GP told me that Oxyntomodulin is not a prescription. Where can I buy Oxyntomodulin?
I am more than 50 pounds over weight and have battled this roller coaste all my life. Nothing seems
to work. The new information and studies on Oxyntomodulin seems to be quite helpful.

aztec732004 said at July 11, 2010 4:26 AM:

I would like to be involved/volunteer in the Oxyntomodulin trials as I suffer from obesity please send me a complete inforemation/application pack. many thanks in advance

aztec732004 said at July 11, 2010 4:29 AM:

I would like to be involved/volunteer in the Oxyntomodulin trials as I suffer from obesity please send me a complete inforemation/application pack. many thanks in advance

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