The team of Professor Steve Bloom gave injections of oxyntomodulin to fifteen overweight but healthy volunteers aged between 23 and 49 years from Hammersmith Hospital, and monitored how this affected both their food intake and levels of activity.

The volunteers completed three separate four-day study sessions, where they self administered either saline or oxyntomodulin according to a double blind randomised trial. After the first injection, the volunteers were given a meal, and their calorific intake was monitored. They spent the next two days in their normal environment, self administering oxyntomodulin three times a day before meals. On the fourth day, the volunteers came back to hospital to have their energy expenditure measured.

After the first meal, the volunteers ate on average 128 kcal or 17.4 percent less, while activity related energy expenditure increased by an average of 143 kcal or 26.2 percent. The researchers also realized a reduction in body weight by an average of 0.5 per cent. Accordingly, Oxyntomodulin shows a double effect in increasing energy expenditure as well as reducing food intake.

Bloom concludes that this “discovery could provide doctors with a whole new way to treat the current obesity epidemic. Oxyntomodulin could work by letting the brain know it has an adequate energy supply and that it can afford to do productive things rather than concentrate solely on food seeking or conserving energy. It signals to the brain that it can increase exercise by letting it know that the energy is available to do more things.” He also adds: “If used as a therapy for obesity, oxyntomodulin provides a double whammy - reducing food intake and increasing spontaneous activity.”

MEDICA.de; Quelle: Imperial College London