A group of scientists claim that by freezing the so-called “hunger nerve,” we can stop the yo-yo effect in its tracks.
The yo-yo effect is the body’s response to long-term calorie restriction, which translates into slower metabolism and putting on more pounds than what we lost while dieting.
Ninety-five percent of people who embark on a diet on their own will fail or gain their weight back at the six- or 12-month mark,
said lead author David Prologo.
Dr. Prologo explained that the so-called hunger nerve can help us lose weight and stop the body’s natural backlash to food deprivation. The nerve, aka the posterior vagal trunk, regulates the GI, lungs and heart.
When hunger kicks in the nerve tells your brain that you need food.
Dr. Porlogo and his team at Emory University School of Medicine said they were able to freeze the nerve for a couple of minutes via a probe implanted in patients’ backs. The team found that the hunger cues were switched off.
Ten people underwent the procedure, and researchers think it is safe. All patients were moderately to severely obese. Their age ranged from age 27 to 66; 80% of participants were women.
Procedure Could Stop the Yo-Yo Effect with No Adverse Effects
After 90 days, researchers observed no side-effects to the new procedure. All patients reported a lower appetite after surgery, and the research team noticed a 3.6% weight loss on average. Plus, all patients’ BMIs slipped 13.9%.
One of the patients, Melissa, complained that the extra pounds have been rebounding regardless of the diet she was on. She added that after her hunger nerve was frozen, she is “literally never hungry” and never eats just because she is bored.
Researchers couldn’t tell for how long the effect will last. They unveiled that they plan a phase 2 of the study with more participants involved.
Study authors presented their findings at the Society for Interventional Radiology’s annual gathering in L.A. this week.
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