Beating Belly Bulge With Drugs?

Scientists in London are putting a new spin on weight
loss by developing drugs that keep the belly from bulging when you eat.

The researchers' strategy is to slow down the stomach from ballooning to
make room for food.

To do that, the scientists have made two experimental drugs that target
protein receptors called P2Y1 and P2Y11, which are found in the stomach wall
and other parts of the digestive tract, including the colon. The drugs
block those receptors, slowing stomach expansion. The net result is less room
in the stomach for food, which could mean eating less.

So far, the scientists have only tested their experimental drugs on colon
cells -- not stomach cells -- from guinea pigs. The drugs haven't been tested
for weight loss or safety in animals or people yet.

But the researchers argue that the stomach-expanding protein receptors are
found in people, too.

"This would be a brand new approach to weight control," Brian King,
PhD, of University College London's department of neuroscience, physiology, and
pharmacology, says in a news release.

King suggests that drugs targeting P2Y1 and P2Y11 "might be a useful
alternative" to gastric banding or stomach
stapling in obese people seeking weight loss.

King and colleagues report their findings in The Journal of Pharmacology
and Experimental Therapeutics
.



By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
©2005-2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved

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