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Freezing The ‘Hunger Nerve’ Results In Weight Loss, Trial Shows

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Weight loss is something many people struggle with, as even after trying various methods and meeting with minimum success, the pounds invariably return in no time at all.

Dvid Prologo, an interventional radiologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said in a news release,

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.

He added, “The reason for this is the body’s backlash to the calorie restriction.”

Prologo conducted a study that examined the “hunger nerve” and its possible link to a person’s ability to lose weight and keep the weight away.

The “hunger nerve” is the posterior vagal trunk, which is a branch of the vagus nerve that functions in the heart, lungs and gastrointenstinal system, ABC News reports. When a person’s stomach is empty, it is this nerve that signals the brain of the feeling of hunger.

Porlogo and fellow researchers recruited a small number of participants and tried a minor surgery o them, inserting a probe into the patients’ backs and freezing the “hunger nerve” for two minutes. Live images from a CT scan guided the doctors. By effectively freezing the nerve, the brain signal for hunger shut down.

The experiment was conducted just to test if such a procedure was safe, and the participants numbered 10 in total. All of them were overweight, with body mass indexes from 30 to 37, ranging in age from 27 to 66. Eight of the participants were women.

At the end of the procedure, the probe was removed from the participants, and a small bandage applied to the area. The participants were able to return home on the same day.

The researchers then had the participants come in for check-ups seven, 45 and 90 days after the experiment. There were no negative side effects reported, and no complications that needed treatment. Participants reported a decrease in appetite at each session, and there was an average weight loss of 3.6%. All of the participants’ BMI also dropped by 13.9%.

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