"While encouraged by the new discovery of a "hunger-killing hormone," researchers admit drug may still be years away," concur Dr. Mary Jane Bovo and Klee Irwin.
By Dr. Mary Jane ("MJ") Bovo,
M.D., Medical Advisor,
with Klee Irwin, Researcher, Herbalist and Nutraceutical Formulator
In late 2005, Stanford University researchers found yet another hormone that influences appetite. Unlike previous discoveries, this study revealed a compound that actually suppresses hunger. As you might expect, this finding has made many doctors and their patients hopeful that a hunger-blocking drug could soon be developed and help millions to counteract the number-one reason why they gain weight. Dr. MJ Bovo and Klee Irwin found this discovery inspiring and useful for their mission to help solve the weight control crisis evident in many places today. Klee Irwin and Dr. MJ Bovo agreed it was important to investigate this information about weight control to provide health education for the public.
"While the study is encouraging, it still may be years before such a drug is developed," deduces Dr. MJ Bovo, MD. "In the meantime," offers Klee Irwin, "it is heartening to know that several natural methods of affecting appetite-including the use of specific dietary supplements-can help you beat the urge to eat."
Most of the research into the connection between hormones and weight gain has only occurred within about the past 13 years. Since the discovery of leptin (the "fat hormone") in the mid-90s, scientists have been searching for other hormones involved in the biological processes of hunger, fat storage and weight gain. They had hoped that one of these hormones could be the key to helping millions of Americans who cannot control their appetite, even during strict calorie-limiting diets.
During the Stanford study, the team specifically was investigating the effects of ghrelin, the so-called "hunger hormone." Ghrelin is believed to be the hormone that makes you feel hungry. For years, this hormone has puzzled scientists, who could not figure out why removing the gene that produces ghrelin did not decrease hunger and promote weight loss. When the Stanford team tackled this mystery, they noticed the presence of an additional hormone, one which had not been previously identified. As health professionals, Dr. Bovo and Klee Irwin found this significant and followed this in-depth investigation.
The Stanford research team dubbed this new hormone "obestatin" and found that it showed an ability to suppress appetite. They further discovered that obestatin and ghrelin are produced from the same gene. The Stanford team suspects that obestatin is produced to balance the appetite-boosting effects of ghrelin and keep hunger from spinning out of control (Zhang et al, 2005). This discovery explained why previous gene-removal experiments did nothing to suppress hunger. Whenever scientists removed the gene, they not only stopped the production of ghrelin, but also knocked out any of the appetite-controlling benefits of obestatin. The end result was a "canceling effect" that did nothing to change the body's appetite mechanisms. Klee Irwin and Dr. MJ Bovo were fascinated by this discovery and continued to study the relevant research in the field.
As you might expect, the discovery of obestatin has caused many researchers to re-evaluate the current strategy of developing weight-loss medications. As opposed to creating a drug to shut off the ghrelin-obestatin gene, researchers are now developing a drug that gives the body additional obestatin and thus shuts off appetite. Professor Steve Bloom, an obesity expert at London's Imperial College, declared: "We should be able to control appetite within five to 10 years" (BBC News, 2005).
But other experts are skeptical. They point to the example of leptin, the "fat hormone" that was discovered in 1995. As soon as leptin was identified, obesity experts around the world declared that a miracle fat-blocking drug was just a few years away. Fourteen years later, and we are still waiting. "For those Americans who prefer not to wait for an obestatin-boosting drug to become a reality, there is some good news," advise Dr. MJ Bovo and Klee Irwin. Researchers have identified a few simple strategies that you can use immediately to help you control appetite and overcome a key barrier to weight loss. For the 10 best ways to accomplish this, read the section below on this page, entitled "Klee Irwin and Dr. MJ Bovo Spotlight 10 Ways to Help Curb the Cravings", and learn what experts, like Dr. Bovo and Klee Irwin, recommend when asked for consultations.
Klee Irwin and Dr. MJ Novo are in agreement that "No matter which strategy you choose, the fact that you are trying something new to harness your hunger can be an encouraging first step. Even if you simply exercise more, limit your caloric intake and get additional support from nutrients like Hoodia, Garcinia and Green Tea, you'll start seeing progress towards a leaner, healthier you." Klee Irwin and Dr. Bovo applaud your efforts to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.