Two obesity vaccines that target somatostatin, a hormone that can promote weight gain, were shown to reduce body weight of obese mice by 10 percent, according to a new study in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, an open-access publication.

The sole author on the paper, Keith Haffer from Braasch Biotech in South Dakota, injected mice fed an obesity-inducing diet with two vaccine candidates designed to produce antibodies against somatostatin. Reducing somatostatin levels is thought to help increase the amount of two other hormones—growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor—that promote weight loss.

“Although further studies are necessary to discover the long-term implications of these vaccines, treatment of human obesity with vaccination would provide physicians with a drug- and surgical- free option against the weight epidemic,” Haffer said in a press release.

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