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Tuesday, 07 August 2018 13:34

Freezing the Hunger Response

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What would you do to lose weight? How about literally freezing the nerve that carries hunger signals to the brain? Could this be a new option for weight loss?
According to this new small study, presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, this freezing treatment was determined safe and feasible in the initial pilot phase conducted by lead study author David Prologo, M.D., FSIR, ABOM-D.
This is how it works: "An interventional radiologist inserts a needle through the patient's back and, guided by live images from a CT scan, uses argon gas to freeze the nerve, known as the posterior vagal trunk. This nerve, located at the base of the esophagus, is one of several mechanisms that tell the brain that the stomach is empty."
This very small study of ten subjects all reported a decreased appetite, and the overall weight loss after 90 days was 3.6 percent, with a 14% decrease of BMI. There were no side effects or adverse problems during the follow up.
Many diets fail simply because when the stomach is empty, the body just naturally goes into its natural generic food-seeking survival mode. The scientists are not trying to eliminate this natural biological response, but are attempting to reduce the strength of this signal to provide a more long term solution to treating mild obesity.
While this was a successful study, it was still a very small, small study, so more patients are being recruited for a larger clinical study to test the true efficacy and durability of this special procedure. The study was funded by HealthTronics, a medical technology company that manufactures ablation probes use.
Hmm, I'm not sure if I'd be willing to do this procedure myself, would you? Following a high protein diet and working on life time behavioral changes seems like a more realistic option to me. What are your thoughts on this? 
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