Monday, November 28, 2011

Chew Gum - Lose Weight - Coming Soon: Scientist Uses Vitamin B12 To Deliver Appetite-Suppressing Hormone PYY (Peptide YY) Via Chewing Gum or Oral Tablets.

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: Soon, losing weight might mean chewing a stick of gum after eating a well balanced meal to suppress your appetite.

In an exciting new study, a chemist at Syracuse University, Robert Doyle and his team, demonstrated, for the first time, that a critical hormone PYY (Peptide YY) which is a short (36-amino acid) protein released by cells in the ileum and colon in response to feeding.that helps people feel "full" after eating can be delivered into the bloodstream orally.

Doyle's team is working on  incorporating B12-PYY in chewing gum or oral tablets in trials and hoping to deliver PYY without being degraded in the GI system to cause appetite suppression in obese individuals.

If they will be successful, PYY-laced gum would be a natural way to help people lose weight in the near future.

Robert Doyle's study was published online in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. He collaborated on the study with researchers from Murdoch University in Australia.

Further Reading and Sources:

Link 1

Link 2

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.


Dr. Harish Malik

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inexpensive Diabetes Drug Metformin Shows Promise in Reducing Risk of Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer and Possibly Other Cancers.

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: Previous epidemiological association of decreased Breast cancer in women on long term Metformin therapy for type 2 Diabetes Mellitus was experimentally shown to be true by researchers from Michigan State University and their colleagues from Seoul University.

Using culture dishes (Link 1), these researchers grew miniature human breast tumors, or mammospheres, that activated a certain stem cell gene (Oct4A). Then the mammospheres were exposed to natural estrogen - a known growth factor and potential breast tumor promoter - and man-made chemicals that are known to promote tumors or disrupt the endocrine system. 

They found that estrogen and the chemicals caused the mammospheres to increase in numbers and size. However, when metformin was added, the numbers and size of the mammospheres were dramatically reduced. While each of the chemicals enhanced growth by different means, metformin seemed to be able to inhibit their stimulated growth in all cases.

In another study done last year at the National Cancer Institute regarding metformin and Lung cancer prevention in mice (Link 2) when the researchers administered metformin to mice by injection, the drug levels were higher and the anticancer effects were even stronger—the drug reduced lung tumors by 72 percent compared with no treatment. Although this method of administration is not feasible for cancer prevention in humans, analogs of metformin that are more potent may well be more effective than the drug itself, Dr. Dennis noted. With any chemopreventive agent, however, minimal toxicity is critical, and metformin was well tolerated in the mice. In fact, the livers of the treated mice not only showed no signs of toxicity, but they actually appeared healthier than those of untreated mice.

Further research will be done to see if metformin can reduce the risk of Pancreatic and Liver cancers as well.

Further Reading and References:

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.


Dr. Harish Malik

What’s New in Chemotherapy? Johns Hopkins Professor Marc Ostermeier and His Team Has Devised Protein “Switches” That Could Turn Human Cancer Cells into Tiny Chemotherapy Factories Causing Them to Self-destruct While Sparing Healthy Tissue.

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: This novel cancer-fighting strategy and promising early lab test results from Johns Hopkins Department of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering were reported in the online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Abstract).

Marc Ostermeier’s team made this novel weapon, cancer-fighting protein “switch”, by fusing together two different proteins and successfully tested it on human colon and breast cancer cells. One protein detects a marker that cancer cells produce. The other protein, derived from yeast, can turn an inactive prodrug (drug that is in its inactive form) into a cancer-cell killer (active chemotherapy drug). “When the first part of the switch detects cancer, it tells its partner to activate the chemotherapy drug, destroying the cell,” Ostermeier said.

Normal healthy cells will also receive the prodrug but would not be able to convert it to active chemotherapy drug and thus would be spared.

Animal testing is expected to start within a year.

Source and further reading:

Wright, C., Wright, R., Eshleman, J., and Ostermeier, M. (2011) A protein therapeutic modality founded on molecular regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved on November 27, 2011 from
This article contains supporting information online at

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.


Dr. Harish Malik