Scientists have created an anti-obesity formula for infants. The highlights are by me.
…aims to supplement baby milk with a hormone that suppresses hunger.Animal studies suggest early exposure to the hormone leptin can programme the brain to prevent over-eating throughout life.It may even determine whether someone is fat or thin before birth.Feeding the hormone to pregnant rats seems to have a life-long impact on their offspring. Animals born of leptin-treated mothers remain lean, despite being fed a fat-laden diet. In contrast those whose mothers were untreated gain weight and develop diabetes
Prof. Cawthorne, who did the research,
“The supplemented milks are simply adding back something that was originally present,” he told Chemistry & Industry magazine, which reported on the research today. “Breast milk contains leptin and formula feeds don’t.”Previous studies looking at the ability of leptin to reduce hunger in human volunteers have proved disappointing. Prof Cawthorne believes this is because they involved adults, rather than infants. Leptin was only likely to leave its stamp on the malleable brains of babies.”You would only take this for a short time, very early in life,” said Prof Cawthorne.
Cawthorne, about the formula
Prof Cawthorne told the Press Association the infant formula work was in the “very early stages”.”It’s something we’re in the process of looking at,” he said. “There’s potential there because we know that breast-fed offspring have less of a tendency towards obesity in adult life.”I’m not in the least suggesting that it will cure world wide obesity, but it’s something that could make a difference.”There are always safety concerns, and whenever you do anything there tend to be unexpected events. But one could argue that giving formula feeds to babies that are different from breast milk might itself be changing their programming.”
The notion that leptin in baby milk will prevent human obesity is currently in the realms of wildly optimistic science fiction.
Dr Nick Finer,
And would the first trials be in newly born children?”
Whatever happened to teaching the kids to eat right? Never again am I going to crib about the 20 minutes I have to spend to feed my kids that apple, orange or banana instead of the cupcake that will be wolfed down in 20 seconds.
It is Joanna Moorehead at Guardian Unlimited who asks the right question.
why are we[British] spending money on trying to develop an inferior substitute, rather than putting more resources into encouraging mothers to breastfeed?