Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drugs from gila monster lizard saliva reduces cravings for chocolate and ordinary food

Date:
May 15, 2012
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
A drug made from the saliva of the Gila monster lizard is effective in reducing the craving for food. Researchers have tested the drug on rats, who after treatment ceased their cravings for both food and chocolate.

A drug made from the saliva of the Gila monster lizard is effective in reducing the craving for ordinary food and also chocolate.
Credit: Rusty Dodson / Fotolia

A drug made from the saliva of the Gila monster lizard is effective in reducing the craving for food. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have tested the drug on rats, who after treatment ceased their cravings for ordinary food and also chocolate.

Related Articles


An increasing number of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes are offered a pharmaceutical preparation called Exenatide, which helps them to control their blood sugar. The drug is a synthetic version of a natural substance called exendin-4, which is obtained from a rather unusual source -- the saliva of the Gila monster lizard (Heloderma suspectum), North America's largest lizard.

Unexpected effect

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, have now found an entirely new and unexpected effect of the lizard substance.

Reduces cravings for food

In a study with rats published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Assistant Professor Karolina Skibicka and her colleagues show that exendin-4 effectively reduces the cravings for food.

"This is both unknown and quite unexpected effect," comments an enthusiastic Karolina Skibicka: "Our decision to eat is linked to the same mechanisms in the brain which control addictive behaviours. We have shown that exendin-4 affects the reward and motivation regions of the brain."

Significant findings

The implications of the findings are significant" states Suzanne Dickson, Professor of Physiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy: "Most dieting fails because we are obsessed with the desire to eat, especially tempting foods like sweets. As exendin-4 suppresses the cravings for food, it can help obese people to take control of their weight," suggests Professor Dickson.

Treatment for eating disorders

Research on exendin-4 also gives hope for new ways to treat diseases related to eating disorders, for example, compulsive overeating.

Another hypothesis for the Gothenburg researchers' continuing studies is that exendin-4 may be used to reduce the craving for alcohol.

"It is the same brain regions which are involved in food cravings and alcohol cravings, so it would be very interesting to test whether exendin-4 also reduces the cravings for alcohol," suggests Assistant Professor Skibicka.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Suzanne L. Dickson, Rozita H. Shirazi, Caroline Hansson, Filip Bergquist, Hans Nissbrandt, and Karolina P. Skibicka. The Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 (GLP-1) Analogue, Exendin-4 Decreases the Rewarding Value of Food: A New Role for the Mesolimbic GLP-1 Receptors. Journal of Neuroscience, April 4, 2012 DOI: 10.1523/%u200BJNEUROSCI.6326-11.2012

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Drugs from gila monster lizard saliva reduces cravings for chocolate and ordinary food." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515165405.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2012, May 15). Drugs from gila monster lizard saliva reduces cravings for chocolate and ordinary food. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515165405.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Drugs from gila monster lizard saliva reduces cravings for chocolate and ordinary food." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515165405.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) A new species of fish is discovered living five miles beneath the ocean surface, making it the deepest living fish on earth. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins