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Is there a Magic Pill to Treat Obesity?

In the past week I have read about two possible substances on the internet and of one fictional source in a new book. I’m reminded of Soma, a feel-good drug described by Aldous Huxley in “Brave New World.” Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of all problems with a pill?
One article in Yahoo Health told about a substance called Sensa you could sprinkle on your food to quell your appetite. You could lose weight without changing diet or exercise. I thought, this is like increasing dietary fat. It stimulates your body to make a hormone that slows the emptying time of your stomach and another hormone that tells your brain you have had enough. Eating more healthy fat would not be introducing an unknown substance that might have side effects. You just have to get rid of the faulty idea that eating fat makes you fat.
Another substance Irvingia, an extract of the seed of the African mango, had a couple of references from scientific journals to back up claims of its effectiveness for amazing weight loss of over seven pounds a week. One reference was the Dr. Oz show of September 13, 2010 where the people he followed lost a less remarkable average of 8.9 pounds in 28 days, with normal diet and exercise. If it has been known by the American public for over a year, why haven’t there been more studies by doctors? An earlier report by Ngondi, J.L et al. on subjects in Cameroon was in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease in 2005. Were other reports equivocal because they didn’t use the standard extracts made by the manufacturer: Applied Nutritional Research?
Has Irvingia knowledge and research been squelched by the billion dollar weight loss industry? Certainly Dr. Mary Enig’s research on trans-fats was marginalized for 30 years by the seed oil companies that were profiting from margarine and Crisco. Author William Barrett Burton has just published a thriller called “Ockham’s Razor”. In it the scientist heroine is threatened by bad guys paid by the fast food industry because she has invented an anti-obesity pill. Unless that pill required a healthy diet, I would suspect the weight loss industry instead.
Healthy medium weight Americans have tried to be thin and ended up fighting fat the rest of their lives. Meanwhile the companies that promise thinness are raking in the dollars.

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