LiveScience reports that a substance in the saliva of the Gila monster called exendin-4 can reduce food cravings. The naturally occurring compound makes eating sweet and fatty foods less rewarding to the brain.
Simply by ingesting exendin-4, rats lost their cravings for both food and chocolate. The new discovery may be a breakthrough in weight-loss science, as researcher Suzanne Dickson explains:
“As exendin-4 suppresses the cravings for food, it can help obese people to take control of their weight.”
Obese people often keep eating in search of the rewarding activity in the brain, leading to full blown food addiction. In a zombie pandemic, exendin-4 may also be a safe tool in fighting everyday hunger brought on by constant food shortages.
It’s not uncommon for people in impoverished areas of the world to use drugs to suppress chronic hunger. In isolated regions of Afghanistan, babies are given opium to calm them when food is not available, leading to lifelong addiction problems.
If exendin-4 proves to be a safe, natural, non-habit forming way to reduce preoccupation with food when eating is not an option, then it would allow survivors to more clearly focus on more pressing issues in a zombie infested world.
Maybe we can finally stop dreaming about those damned Twinkies!