Tags: gila | monster | lizard | spit | food | cravings | saliva

Lizard Spit Curbs Food Cravings

Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:45 PM

This just in from the Strange But True Department: A drug made from the saliva of the Gila monster lizard effectively curbs cravings for food.
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, tested the drug on rats and found it reduced their desire for food and chocolate. They said the findings could have significant implications for humans and may point the way to new weight-control therapies.
Some type 2 diabetics now take the drug Exenatide to control their blood sugar, the researchers noted. It is a synthetic version of a natural substance called exendin-4, obtained from the saliva of the Gila monster. But the new study found another unexpected effect of the lizard substance – it curbs food cravings.
"Our decision to eat is linked to the same mechanisms in the brain which control addictive behaviors,” said lead researcher Karolina Skibicka. “We have shown that exendin-4 affects the reward and motivation regions of the brain."
The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests a new way to help obese and diabetic people control their appetites, according to Suzanne Dickson, a physiologist at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "Most dieting fails because we are obsessed with the desire to eat, especially tempting foods like sweets,” she said. “As exendin-4 suppresses the cravings for food, it can help obese people to take control of their weight."

© HealthDay

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A drug made from the saliva of the Gila monster lizard reduces cravings for sweets, foods.
Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:45 PM
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