Chew gum, lose weight

A team of scientists is trying to develop a chewing gum that may assist individuals in losing weight.

In a groundbreaking new study, the team led by Syracuse University chemist Robert Doyle demonstrated, for the first time, that a critical hormone that helps people feel `full` after eating can be delivered into the bloodstream orally.

The hormone, called human PYY, is part of a chemical system that regulates appetite and energy. When people eat or exercise, PYY is released into the bloodstream.

The amount of PYY that is released increases with the number of calories that are consumed.

Past studies have shown that people who are obese have lower concentrations of PYY in their bloodstream both when fasting and after eating than their non-obese counterparts.

`PYY is an appetite-suppressing hormone. But, when taken orally, the hormone is destroyed in the stomach and that which isn`t destroyed has difficulty crossing into the bloodstream through the intestines,` Doyle explained.

What`s needed is a way to disguise the PYY so that it can travel through the digestive system relatively unharmed.

Several years ago, Doyle developed a way to use vitamin B12 as a vehicle for the oral delivery of the hormone insulin.

B12 is able to pass through the digestive system with relative ease and carry with it insulin, or other substances, into the bloodstream.

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