Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Researchers Suppress 'Hunger Hormone'

A minimally invasive procedure successfully suppressed levels of the "hunger hormone" ghrelin in pigs and led to appetite reduction results similar to bariatric surgery, say Johns Hopkins researchers. They chemically vaporized the main vessel carrying blood to the top section (fundus) of the stomach. About 90 percent of the body's ghrelin originates in the fundus, which requires a good blood supply to make the hormone.

"With gastric artery chemical embolization, called GACE, there's no major surgery. In our study in pigs, this procedure produced an effect similar to bariatric surgery by suppressing ghrelin levels and subsequently lowering appetite," Dr. Aravind Arepally, clinical director of the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, and associate professor of radiology and surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in university news release.

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