Monday, September 1, 2008

A Brain Chemical May Lead to Weight Loss Drugs

A National Institute of Health Study (NIH) has found that a chemical produced in the brain may affect appetite and obesity. The chemical, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), was uncovered during a study of rare genetic disorders. It appears that people who lack this chemical have very large appetites and are prone to obesity. This research finding could lead to useful obesity drugs.

Along with diet, exercise, and weight loss surgery, weight loss drugs are another important sector of the bariatric or weight loss industry. However, these drugs have been found to cause side effects -- both physical and psychological. The side effects include heart problems, depression and thoughts of suicide.

Despite evidence that weight loss drugs cause side effects, the urgent need or great desire to lose weight compels some persons to use weight loss drugs. Because of this, efforts are ongoing to find an effective weight loss drug that causes a minimum amount of side effects.

More study needs to be done to understand the full effect of the BDNF in the human body. And we hope that studies like the NIH study will lead to better weight loss drugs. Some people cannot lose weight using lifestyle modification. And bariatric surgery is not appropriate for many people.

Therefore, users of weight loss drugs are an important segment of those persons wanting to lose weight. And this segment represents an important market sector for weight loss and bariatric centers who use weight loss drugs as an element in their weight loss treatments.


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