Food Cravings Reduced By Lizard Saliva

Food Cravings Reduced By Lizard Saliva

Researchers at University of Gothenburg, have made a effective drug to reduce craving of food. This drug is made from the saliva of the Gila monster lizard. They have tested the drug on rats, who after treatment ceased their cravings for both food and chocolate.

An increasing number of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes are offered a pharmaceutical preparation called Exenatide. This helps diabetics to control their blood sugar level.Exenatide is a synthetic version of a natural substance called exendin-4. Exendin-4 can naturally obtain from a rather unusual source – the saliva of the Gila monster lizard (Heloderma suspectum).

This is North America’s largest lizard.In a study with rats researchers have now found an entirely new and unexpected effect of the lizard substance. They found that exendin-4 effectively reduces the cravings for food.Researchers said that decision to eat is linked to the same mechanisms in the brain which control addictive behaviors.

Mode of action of exendin-4 is that it effects the reward and motivation regions of the brain.The implications of the findings are significant, from treating obesity to managing diabetes.Here the question rises, “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?”