Chewing gum can help you to
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Scientists are developing a chewing gum that may assist individuals in
losing weight. The team led by Syracuse University chemist Robert Doyle
demonstrated that a critical hormone PYY that helps people feel “full”
after eating can be delivered into the bloodstream orally.
The hormone, called human PYY, is part of a chemical system that regulates
appetite and energy. When people eat or exercise, PYY is released into the
bloodstream. The amount of PYY that is released increases with the number of
calories that are consumed.
Past studies have shown that people who are obese have lower concentrations of
PYY in their bloodstream both when fasting and after eating than their non-obese
“PYY is an appetite-suppressing hormone. But, when taken orally, the hormone is
destroyed in the stomach and that which isn’t destroyed has difficulty crossing
into the bloodstream through the intestines,” Doyle explained.
What’s needed is a way to disguise the PYY so that it can travel through the
digestive system relatively unharmed. Several years ago, Doyle developed a way
to use vitamin B12 as a vehicle for the oral delivery of the hormone insulin.
“Phase one of this study was to show that we could deliver a clinically relevant
amount of PYY into the bloodstream. We did that, and we are very excited by the
results,” Doyle said.
The next step involves finding ways to insert the B12-PYY system into such
things as chewing gum or an oral tablet to create a nutritional supplement to
assist individuals in losing weight in much the same way as nicotine-laced gum
is used to help people stop smoking.
The study was published online Nov. 4, 2011 in the American Chemical Society’s
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry