Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tesofensine Is a Promising New Weight-loss Drug

Currently, the drug Alli, an over-the-counter version of the weight-loss drug, Xenical, is probably one of the best weight loss options for those wanting to lose weight. It's probably one of the best options, because the drug appears to help a person lose weight and cause less severe side effects than some other weight-loss drugs on the market, including Meridia and Accompli (not sold in the United States). But in the future, tesofensine might be a competing choice.

Tesofensine was developed to treat Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. However, according to research done in Denmark, the drug suppresses hunger and the drug was found to enable test subjects to lose about twenty-eight pounds over a six-month period. However, the drug does cause side effects, including nausea, bowel issues, and other problems similar to those caused by other weight loss medications.

However, since a weight loss of only six-to-ten pounds can lower bad cholesterol and other health-related conditions, a drug that can cause weight loss averaging twenty-eight pounds over a six month period might be worth considering.

Therefore, if tesofensine proves beneficial, and if indeed, it can enable people to lose up to twenty-eight pounds per six months, and if further research shows that the side effects are tolerable, the drug will be a useful drug treatment for weight-loss centers to offer to their clients.

As with other drugs, it will be several years before the drug is tested and considered for approval in the United States. Nevertheless, we will keep our eyes open for reports on the drug's progress to determine if the use of the drug might offer an opportunity for bariatric or weight-loss centers.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Fat Hormone Might Provide Health Benefits

The hormone palmitoleate is created in the body when the body produces fat or lipid. And the hormone could help fight heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic diseases. It’s ironic, but researchers at Harvard University and Lipomics Technologies in California observed that an abnormally high level of the body-produced fat hormone existed in exceptionally healthy mice -- even when the mice were on a high-fat diet.

Of course, it will be some time before researchers determine if the hormone can be used to treat heart disease and other metabolic illnesses in humans. It will also be some time before researchers can determine if the fat hormone can be used as a diet supplement. And it will be some time before researchers can learn how to cause the body to produce the fat hormone. Still, it would be a good strategic move for a bariatric or weight loss center to try to play some role in the fat hormone study.

It should be pointed out that utilizing diet supplements often produces less than satisfactory results, or no measurable results at all. However, eliciting the body to produce the fat-hormone may prove to be a better approach than employing the hormone as a supplement. In any case, if the fat hormone can somehow be harnessed to attack cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the hormone will offer some of the main benefits of weight loss.

Therefore, collaborating with organizations that are involved in important heart and diabetes related research, such as that involving the fat hormone, could boost a bariatric center's reputation. And being at the leading edge of the research can enable the bariatric or weight loss center to use the research results more quickly than competitors, giving the center a competitive advantage.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An Intestinal Liner That Reduces Calorie Intake

The company, GI Dynamics of Lexington, Massachusetts, recently presented a report on the results of tests done using an intestinal liner that duplicates some of the functions of gastric bypass surgery. The liner, called the EndoBarrier, reduces the amount of calories that the body absorbs from food that is eaten. The liner is inserted endoscopically through the mouth, and placed in the small intestine, covering about two feet of the intestine. Test results indicate that the liner can cause weight loss and produce beneficial effects for those with type 2 diabetes.

Gastric bypass surgery is a combination of two weight-loss surgical procedures that reduce calorie intake. In one of these procedures, called restriction, the surgeon creates a smaller stomach using a portion of the original stomach. This smaller stomach restricts the amount of food a person eats, thus reducing calorie intake. In the other procedure, called malabsorption, the surgeon reroutes the small intestine so that food bypasses a portion of the small intestine, reducing the amount of calories (and nutrients) absorbed by the body.

The intestinal liner duplicates some of the malabsorptive characteristics of gastric bypass surgery. Persons participating in the intestinal liner test were able to lose an average of 30 pounds and there was a decrease in the blood sugar level in study subjects. Thus, there was a lessening of symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.

Research is underway on incisionless procedures that duplicate some of the restrictive features of gastric bypass surgery. And that research is worth noting here. For example, in one procedure, a silicone balloon is inserted, endoscopically, through the mouth into the stomach. When filled with a saline solution, the balloon gives a person a fullness sensation even though the person has eaten less food than normal. Another endoscopic restriction procedure, called transoral gastroplasty or TOGA, reduces the size of the stomach using flexible stabling devices introduced into the stomach via the mouth.

All of the endoscopic procedures mentioned above are reversible. And these procedures should be less traumatic than gastric bypass surgery since they are incisionless. These procedures need more study. However, if these procedures prove to be safe and effective, and if someone can create a weight loss surgical procedure that safely combines the endoscopic restrictive and malabsorptive procedures, the resulting procedure will be a boon to the weight loss industry.

Finally, if the above procedures are proven safe and effective, a weight loss or bariatric center that successfully employs the procedures will gain a competitive advantage.


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