The obesity crisis may be curbed by a vaccine
10th July 2012
The obesity epidemic currently rifer in the developed countries could be helped by a new revolutionary obesity vaccine that some have already nicknamed the ‘flab jab’.  The private American company Braasch Biotech who specialise in both animal and human vaccines, conducted studies with obese mice who were purposely put on a high fat diet, and the results were promising. The two vaccines in development are named JH17 and JH18, and both are somatostatins. The aforementioned is a peptide hormone that suppresses the release of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which in turn increases a person’s metabolic rate, leading to weight loss. The vaccine makes the immune system believe that somatostatin is a ‘threat’ so the body can produce antibodies to neutralise the peptide. For the experiments, Lead researcher Dr Keith Haffer and his colleagues studied twenty mice. Ten of these were obese mice who were given the vaccinations and the other half were the control group and these simply received saline injections. The obese mice were shown to lose 10% of their bodily weight a mere four days after first being given a jab and these results were shown in both versions of the vaccine.  The weight loss did not occur within the control group. The results clearly excite Dr Haffer and he commented on the findings, “This study demonstrates the possibility of treating obesity with a vaccination. Although further studies are necessary to discover the long term implications of these vaccines, treatment of human obesity with vaccination could provide physicians with a drug and surgical-free option against the weight epidemic.” The obese mice in the study were injected with quite large quantities of the vaccine. Other research that focused on pigs has yet to be published and this study indicates that lower doses may also be effective for weight loss. Now the next step that will prove just how capable the vaccines are would be human trials. The vaccines cannot arrive quickly enough though with an estimated 30,000 Brits perishing each year from various complications connected to obesity. The problem drains the NHS of approximately £500 million annually and some are predicting that nearly half of British males will be obese within the next 20 years. In 2007 the World Health Organization (WHO) released a graph that would seem to suggest that the obesity crisis is primarily rife in English speaking nations around the globe as six of the top seven fattest nations are English speaking.  The prevalence of overweight people in the Anglosphere in shown in the WHO graph: The vaccines may be a long way off though as no human trials have actually happened yet. In the meantime if you are overweight and need to lose weight, you could try the old-fashioned simple but effective methods of weight loss such as sticking to a healthy diet high in fruit and veg,  increasing your exercise, or join a dedicated weight loss group where you can meet likeminded people and have the motivation to succeed together.