New research says that a weight-loss hormone delivered orally could be the secret to shedding pounds faster.

By Jessica Smith

Nicotine gum can be helpful for smokers trying to quit, so what if there was a way to formulate a gum that could help you quit overeating and lose weight faster? According to recent research reported by Science Daily, the idea of using a weight-loss ‘gum' may not be that far-fetched.

Syracuse University scientist Robert Doyle and his research team were able to show that a hormone called ‘PPY' (that helps you feel full after you eat) can be successfully released into your bloodstream orally. PPY is a natural appetite-suppressing hormone made by your body that is usually released after you eat or exercise. It appears to have a direct affect on your weight: research has proven that overweight individuals have lower concentrations of PPY in their system (both after fasting and eating). Science has also found that it aids in weight loss: PPY delivered intravenously successfully increased levels of PPY and reduced calorie intake in both obese and non-obese test subjects.

What makes Doyle's study (originally published online in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Medicinal Chemistry) so notable is that his team found a way to successfully deliver the hormone to the bloodstream orally by using vitamin B-12 (when ingested alone the hormone is destroyed by the stomach or can't be absorbed fully in the intestines) as a method of delivery. Doyle's team hopes to formulate a "PPY-laced" gum or tablet that you would be able to take after a meal to reduce your appetite several hours later (before the next mealtime), helping you eat less overall.

In the meantime, you can help improve the effectiveness of your body's natural fullness mechanisms by eating a balanced diet full of nutrient-dense, naturally low-calorie, high-fiber foods and exercising regularly. Unprocessed, whole foods can act as natural appetite suppressants. And some research shows that combining a healthy diet and regular exercise-or exercising within an hour after eating-may help your body release more ‘hunger hormones' (including PPY) on it's own.

What do you think? Would you buy (and use) a weight loss gum like this if it were available? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts!

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