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Thread: Is it possible to cure obesity by blocking the absorption of monosaccharides?

  1. #1 Is it possible to cure obesity by blocking the absorption of monosaccharides? 
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    Hi:

    Monosaccharides -- such as glucose -- are the only carbohydrates small enough to pass into the bloodstream via the enterocytes of the small intestine.

    Is it possible to block the absorption of monosaccharides without blocking the absorption of other nutrients? If so, how would on go about doing this?

    I ask because I'm brainstorming of a permanent cure for obesity in the form of a pill that alters the small-intestine's enterocytes so the they reject monosaccharides. So instead of being absorbed into the blood, these monosaccharides will be excreted in the stools via the colon.

    Due to lack of glycemic carbohydrate the body will be forced to use fat for energy resulting in weight loss. The cental nervous system can rely on ketones [a by-product of fat metabolism] in the absence of glucose.

    As for the pill, the patient would only need to take it once, and the enterocytes of his/her small intestine would be modified for life, such that they no longer allow carbs to enter the bloodstream.

    Is any research being done in this area?


    Thanks,

    GX


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  3. #2  
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    Only astrocytes can rely on on ketones - neurons and other glia would still need glucose. What consequences for insulin/glucagon balance do you foresee? How would you stop the body going into ketoacidosis?


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
    Only astrocytes can rely on on ketones - neurons and other glia would still need glucose. What consequences for insulin/glucagon balance do you foresee? How would you stop the body going into ketoacidosis?
    Can't the parts of the brain other than astrocytes also adapt to using ketones in place of glucose?
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  5. #4  
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    Perhaps some other glia, i'm not sure, but not all glia and not neurons. You might be able to reduce glucose intake with something like the ketogenic diet given to refractory paediatric epileptics, but you wouldn't be able to eliminate all glucose metabolism from the brain. I also read something about glucose metabolism being important in regulating neuronal apoptosis: there are other metabolic consequences to such restrictions. Plus that would be some drug that could permanently alter an enterocyte.
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  6. #5  
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    There is a much better approach already being researched. A pill to limit appetite. If people are made not to feel hungry, they eat less, and lose weight. Several leads are being followed by several different research teams, and a positive result is not unlikely.

    For example ; there is a herb eaten by the San people of the kalahari, which effectively blocks appetite - they use it in times of food shortage to ease their suffering. This herb actually works and a research team is trying to extract the active ingredient so it can be sold as a pill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    There is a much better approach already being researched. A pill to limit appetite. If people are made not to feel hungry, they eat less, and lose weight. Several leads are being followed by several different research teams, and a positive result is not unlikely.

    For example ; there is a herb eaten by the San people of the kalahari, which effectively blocks appetite - they use it in times of food shortage to ease their suffering. This herb actually works and a research team is trying to extract the active ingredient so it can be sold as a pill.
    The problem is, a lot of obese patients don't necessarily eat to satiate their appetites, they eat "junk food" for a variety of reasons -- depression, trying to relive good memories [associated with the smells/tastes of the said food], attempts to escape elements of their lives they don't like, etc.
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    To Green

    Of course.
    But the mechanism by which these effects operate is usually through appetite. No-one says "I am feeling depressed. I had better eat more food." But it works out that way because their depressed mind tells them they are hungry.
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    I have a far-fetched question.

    An attempt to treat obesity is invented. This treatment involves the use of a designer microbe. This microbe is made from the smallest naturally-existing aerotolerant-anaerobic bacterium that has all the following characteristics:

    1. Not gram-negative
    2. Free of lipopolysaccharide
    3. Non-pathogenic
    4. Non-allergenic
    5. Uses homolactate fermentation – not respiration – for energy. This form of fermentation does not generate CO2.

    This bacterium is bio-engineered so that it does not produce biofilms or colonies under any conditions. This is to prevent the formation of such in the bodies of obese patients who will receive this bacterium via IV injection.

    For each patient, this bacterium is specifically altered so that it can trick his/her immune system into “thinking” it is part of his/her body. This measure prevents the patient’s immune system from attacking the bacterium and mounting an otherwise inflammatory response. If this bacterium enters the body of another individual, the immune system of that other individual will kill the bacterium. This is necessary to keep the bacterium non-contagious.

    In addition, the bacterium is further genetically-modified so that it does not produce enzymes that would breakdown the body proteins of the patients receiving it.

    So where does this bacterium get the amino acids necessary for its own survival and reproduction? It gets these from the free amino acids present in the patient’s bloodstream derived from proteins he/she consumes in foods.

    Lactate is used for the brain for energy. Normally the brain would derive lactate from aerobic respiration of glucose. However, in this case, lactate is already present in the blood. So glucose isn’t necessary.

    Let’s say a morbidly-obese patient receives this treatment. What are the direct medical drawbacks – ignoring the non-medical issues [such as cost]?
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    It sounds needlessly invasive and prone to diasterous risk. It is my undestandind that the body needs glucose not lactate as primary brain food. I better approach, if you are going to bio engineer a bacterium is one that is taken every day and competes for carbohydrates in the gut. Then when you have lost enough weight just stop taking the pill.
    Or you could have a tape worm. They are harder to get rid of when you have lost enough weight but they exist right now, no waiting.
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