weight-gain-vaccination.jpg There goes an absolutely fantastic fairytale wish again!

But researchers say there is a flickering of hope.

Ghrelin is one hormone among several that appear to regulate body metabolism. Research scientists, from the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology in California, vaccinated male rats with different kinds of ghrelin, which is produced in the stomach. Two of the three vaccines they tried prevented weight gain in the rats. The rats whose weight gain was constant were also allowed to eat freely and the quantity they ate was equal to the unimmunised rats in the study.

The study also showed that the vaccinated rats had a high level of muscle mass compared to their fat content, which led to the conclusion that the vaccine affected the rats metabolism, more than their appetite.

The results have shown that active immunisation against ghrelin can be used to control weight gain and fat in mammals.

But some experts say that, it is unlikely that immunising against a single hormone would prove a long-term solution to weight gain. The whole issue of regulation of appetite and obesity is obviously a very complex jigsaw puzzle, involving complex feedback mechanisms. If ghrelin is blocked, then some other weight-gain chemicals might take over.