Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Beating Belly Bulge With Drugs?

Scientists Working on Drugs to Slow Stomach Expansion and Curb Eating
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

March 4, 2008 -- Scientists in London are putting a new spin on weight loss by developing drugs that keep the belly from bulging when you eat.

The researchers' strategy is to slow down the stomach from ballooning to make room for food.

To do that, the scientists have made two experimental drugs that target protein receptors called P2Y1 and P2Y11, which are found in the stomach wall and other parts of the digestive tract, including the colon. The drugs block those receptors, slowing stomach expansion. The net result is less room in the stomach for food, which could mean eating less.

So far, the scientists have only tested their experimental drugs on colon cells -- not stomach cells -- from guinea pigs. The drugs haven't been tested for weight loss or safety in animals or people yet.

But the researchers argue that the stomach-expanding protein receptors are found in people, too.

"This would be a brand new approach to weight control," Brian King, PhD, of University College London's department of neuroscience, physiology, and pharmacology, says in a news release.

King suggests that drugs targeting P2Y1 and P2Y11 "might be a useful alternative" to gastric banding or stomach stapling in obese people seeking weight loss.

King and colleagues report their findings in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections