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A Fat-loss Vaccine? Plus, GH & PE


Some people like to gain mass at all costs, while some also seek to be shredded and crazy ripped more than anything. However, is it possible to be big and lean without having to over-diet or do as much cardio as a chick in a war for the worlds? Many people- athletes, coaches, sports nutritionists and real contest-prep assistants- know exactly how to dial someone into the right look without the major, health-compromising effects some competitive bodybuilders deal with. However, if you take the 61 percent of the general American population who's overweight or obese, it's clear that we're not making a dent in the way we lead by example. If you couple the fact that there are so many ways we see health promotion being, well, promoted- from "FitNation" (on FitTV) to diet books to crazy, infomercial weight-loss contraptions- one must ask oneself, "Who is all of this information benefiting the most?"

It can be said that the pharmaceutical industry may have some answers and the dietary supplement industry has some great products that aid in bodyweight regulation and fat burning. In addition, we know that creatine (monohydrate or citrate preferred) can aid in enhancing recovery, muscle gains and more. And in fact supplements such as the carnosine product Beta-7 can assist you in the ability to work harder, which translates into better gains, enhanced muscular tone and endurance. Without a doubt, bodybuilders have great choices that shouldn't be overlooked. There are many options not yet on the official "market," but MD is the place where you can catch a preview. And as far as I can see, knowing what's available and what's coming down the road is more than half of the battle.


The Fat Vaccine

Many people are thankful that we have vaccines for polio, mumps and so many other diseases, so if a vaccine for obesity was developed, it surely would be a worldwide phenomenon (Reuters, July 31, 2006), right? Many biological pathways, coupled with environmental and psychological influences regulate our appetites. One of the key hormones that appears to regulate appetite in animals, as well as in humans, is ghrelin. In fact, there's an association between circulating ghrelin levels and bodyweight.

The Scripps Research Institute in the San Diego area recently conducted a study showing a vaccine can effectively eliminate or reduce ghrelin production in animal models. Hence, if ghrelin production is reduced, it only follows that logically, appetite and weight reduction could ensue. "It appears that active vaccination against ghrelin is one avenue that can slow weight gain and fat buildup in the body," said Kim Janda, a chemistry professor who helped direct the study. "The study shows our vaccine slows weight gain and decreases stored fat in rats," Janda added.

The study's authors also noted that their vaccine enhanced the ability of the body to burn fat for energy (thus, fat loss predominated). Many people are now saying that this ghrelin-vaccine study is a breakthrough, and maybe even the turning point in the development of easy, fat-loss solutions. Without a doubt, years of research lies ahead, but this is a very exciting discovery in the fat-loss world.


Spinach Extract Could Suppress Appetite, Tackle Obesity

Believe it or not, the Danish have invented more than a pastry. Yes, I'm serious. Danish researchers have found a new, naturally occurring compound that appears to be useable for weight loss. The compound is a tyke of sorts, more accurately, it's part of a family of compounds found naturally in green spinach leaves and is known, aptly, as "tylakoids." Tylakoids are alkaloids- groups of organic, alkaline substances from plants that react with acids to form salts used for medicinal purposes. Tylakoids can most likely be sold in the United States as a concentrated dietary supplement since they're derived from the green leaves of spinach, which are already on the market as a common vegetable in our diets.

Tylakoids are lipase inhibitors/blockers. In other words, tylakoids inhibit the activity of lipase. Lipase is responsible for the digestion (breakdown) of dietary fat. The thought is (and this is how the prescription drug Xenical works) that if you inhibit fat from being absorbed, then as it passes through the body, the calories, or a portion thereof, from the food you've eaten will also be blocked. In other words, you eat the food, enjoy it and don't pay the full caloric price for it. Researchers believe that a half a pound of spinach would need to be eaten with each meal to inhibit fat absorption; they also believe that a supplement could be generated to have the same effect. The data shows this to be true in animals; they next step is to test this hypothesis in humans. The research is pending publication. (, July 31, 2006)


Selective Drugs for Weight Loss

Athersys, Inc., a pharmaceutical company based in Cleveland, has just announced that it has approval to test its lead anti-obesity drug (ATHX-105). This drug is a selective agonist of a receptor for serotonin (5HT2c agonist). This serotonin receptor is located in the region of the brain that regulates appetite and food intake. In the United States, the only other company that's further along in the development of a similar drug is Arena Pharmaceuticals (APD356). The data published to date is impressive for the safety and effectiveness of augmenting weight loss via this pathway. The Athersys drug will first be tested in the United Kingdom.


More Growth for All of Us!

It's no secret that when you add even a little hGH (GH) to a fat-loss or even a mass-gaining routine, the gains are amplified. Let me explain. There's a plethora of data supporting the use of low-dose GH to aid in fat loss while improving the lean-to-fat mass ratio, especially for women. In fact, it's not uncommon in countries such as Brazil, Argentina and other South American paradises for advanced physicians to use GH in conjunction with a mild weight-loss diet. Bodybuilders who use "technological support" add GH to their testosterone-based steroid cycles to amplify the hardness of the muscle, while aiding in fat burning and in the fullness of the muscle. Therefore, it's quite evident that GH has a multiplicity of uses.

Antares Pharma of Ewing, N.J. (Business Wire, August 9, 2006) has just announced to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) their intent to market a needle-free injection system for the delivery of GH. The great thing about this is that it can be used with any GH product.

According to industry estimates, the market for human growth hormone in the United States was approximately $900 million in 2005. The product would be marketed first to those diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency.


More GH Accepted by the FDA

If you're betting that GH won't continue to grow from the perspective of anti-aging, fat loss and other uses, be prepared to lose your money. According to reports out of Canada, the Cangene Corporation has asked the FDA to approve Accretropin, a recombinant human growth hormone product that will be used to combat short stature in children with growth hormone deficiency and girls with Turner syndrome (PR Newswire, July 17, 2006). I would expect the FDA to approve the new drug application filing and this drug to also find its way to the market.


For Those who Shoot too Fast

Ahem, some men- even bodybuilding men- have this dilemma. They get excited, (perhaps too excited) while engaging in sexual activity and end up having an orgasm much faster than what they would like- and perhaps faster than their partner would have liked. This premature ejaculation (PE) impacts the quality of life for men who experience it. It's true that one way to delay ejaculation is to use low-dose, anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication (such as 10 milligrams Paxil) and many men achieve long-lasting effects with this route. Now, Indevus, a pharmaceutical firm from Lexington, MA, has announced that it has a drug (pagoclone) that's effective for PE (Business Wire, June 23, 2006).

Pagoclone is a novel, non-benzodiazepine (non-sedative), GABAA selective receptor modulator. In early 2006, Indevus filed a new U.S. patent application covering the use of pagoclone as a treatment for premature ejaculation. The patent filing is based on evidence of pharmacologic activity contained in the company's existing clinical databases. For some reason, Indevus is also developing this medication as a treatment for stuttering. You may know this company because they're also the makers of Delatestryl, which is often used in male HRT. In addition, in Europe they market Nebido, which is a type of testosterone that can be used every three months. Nebido is currently available in Europe and shortly will also be available here.


The Prescription Is?

It seems that without a doubt, on some level the pharmaceutical sector is listening to what many healthy and sane people have been saying for a long time. Namely, that the judicious and responsible use of anabolic steroids and growth hormone for health promotion and improved quality of life is a sane and reasonable option to consider. In addition, the off-label use of medications for the treatment of a particular condition should be a viable right, the decisions for which should be between physicians and their patients. In addition, there are a lot of great dietary supplements on the market, with new discoveries and products being talked about all the time. Keep reading the articles in MD and you're always sure to be a step ahead of your competition.


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