Endoscopic procedure burns the stomach lining to reduce the ‘hunger hormone’ and lead to weight loss

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A new weight loss treatment could be on the horizon, with an innovative endoscopic procedure that ablates (burns) the stomach lining to reduce the production of ghrelin, a hormone that causes hunger, resulting in reduced appetite and significant weight loss, according to initial research . human trial will be presented Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) 2024.

The six-month trial in 10 obese female patients resulted in a loss of 7.7% of body weight and a more than 40% reduction in fasting ghrelin levels. Patients reported through validated questionnaires that their hunger had decreased by more than a third. According to a standard drink test, the procedure also caused a 42% reduction in stomach capacity.

“Obesity is a chronic, lifelong disease that is expected to affect nearly half the US population by 2030. Its impact on overall health, quality of life and global healthcare costs is enormous, and we need as many treatment options as possible. ” said lead author Christopher McGowan, MD, gastroenterologist and medical director of True You Weight Loss, a physician-owned clinic in North Carolina.

“This relatively short, outpatient, nonsurgical procedure can facilitate weight loss and significantly reduce hunger, and it could be an additional option for patients who do not want or are not eligible for anti-obesity medications such as Wegovy and Ozempic or bariatric surgery.”

The procedure, an endoscopic mucosal ablation, targets ghrelin, the main hunger hormone that controls appetite, by changing the lining of the stomach where the hormone is produced.

The ablation begins when an endoscopist inserts fluid to protect the underlying stomach tissue and then uses a small device to ablate or burn the mucosal lining of the upper part of the stomach, known as the gastric fundus. Feelings of hunger arise in the gastric fundus when the chamber becomes empty, leading to increased production of ghrelin. Hunger decreases as the gastric fundus fills with food and ghrelin production decreases. Mucosal ablation reduces the number of ghrelin-producing cells.

“Obesity and weight are very complex and regulated by multiple hormone pathways. This procedure alters one of the many pathways that make it difficult for people to lose weight and maintain weight loss,” McGowan said. Levels of ghrelin tend to be higher in obese patients and increase when people lose weight for any reason, making it difficult to maintain weight loss.

Previously, the only proven method to reduce ghrelin was to surgically remove or bypass the gastric fundus. There is currently no pharmacological method to reduce ghrelin. Newer anti-obesity medications, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, use a different hormonal pathway: GLP-1.

If the procedure proves effective over time and in larger studies, it could complement endoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a non-surgical weight-loss procedure that reduces the size of the stomach, or could potentially be used as a one-time treatment. offered. procedure that replaces or supplements other treatments, McGowan said.

“This is just the beginning. The first question was whether we can reduce hunger and ghrelin endoscopically. The answer is: yes, we can.”

Dr. McGowan will present data from the study “Endoscopic Ablation of the Gastric Fundus in Obese Adults: A First-in-Human Study,” abstract 516, on Sunday, May 19 at 2:32 PM EDT.

Delivered by Digestive Diseases Week

Quote: Endoscopic procedure burns the stomach lining to reduce ‘hunger hormone’ and lead to weight loss (2024, May 9) Retrieved on May 9, 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-05-endoscopic-procedure-stomach- lining- hunger.html

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