Green Room

Study: Gila monster spit reduces food and possibly booze cravings

posted at 3:19 pm on May 17, 2012 by

What are you willing to do to shed a few pounds or cut down on your alcohol intake? If your answer to either question is “anything,” then I’m here to tell you there’s a pill for that. It contains Gila monster saliva, but that’s a small sacrifice for those who are serious about fighting the battle of the bulge or climbing up on the wagon.

Sounding like something straight out of Fear Factor, the active ingredient in the drug, exendin-4, is not just lizard drool but venomous lizard drool. Yet, as the Daily Mail reports, researchers at the University of Gothenburg have discovered that the drug controls the brain regions that cause us to crave food and, to a lesser extent, booze.

The discovery of the benefits of extendin-4, which is already marketed as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, was a “happy accident.” During tests of the drug on lab rats, researchers noticed that the rodents didn’t have much of an appetite at the end of a day’s work.

Karolina Skibicka, lead author of the study (which is scheduled to appear in the Journal of Neuroscience), is quoted as saying, “This is both an unknown and quite unexpected effect.” She adds:

Our decision to eat is linked to the same mechanisms in the brain which control addictive behaviours.

We have shown that exendin-4 affects the reward and motivation regions of the brain.

Co-researcher Suzanne Dickson told the Mail, “The implications of the findings are significant. Most dieting fails because we are obsessed with the desire to eat, especially tempting foods like sweets. As exendin-4 suppresses the cravings for food, it can help obese people to take control of their weight.”

The team noted that further research on the impact of the compound on alcohol cravings would be needed before they could offer similarly optimistic pronouncements. In the meantime, those looking to kick the habit can attempt to score a supply of WA|HH Quantum Sensations spray, which simulates the effects of drinking (albeit with none of the pleasure).

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Breaking news!

Gila Monsters added to endangered animal list!

Ditkaca on May 17, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Gila monster spit reduces food and possibly booze cravings


The head you wrote worked champion…!!!!

Ragspierre on May 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I can feel my food cravings being reduced already.

FruitedPlain on May 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

I have to admit, if I knew that there was gila monster drool in my food or my booze, my cravings for said food and said booze would almost certainly be reduced.

JimLennon on May 17, 2012 at 4:00 PM


sage0925 on May 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Well some countries will fix you puffer fish and if it doesn’t kill you(some aren’t as poison as others), it is said to give you a buzz when eating it if prepaired properly!

It seems people will do the darnest things?

letget on May 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I feel sorry for the poor souls upon whom this was tested.

squint on May 17, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Don’t let Michelle know about this. Next policy development: mandatory Gila-spit injections for schoolchildren, taxpayers, and Catholics.

J.E. Dyer on May 17, 2012 at 5:26 PM

My tequila is Old Gila Spit.

It is a Class C narcotic…

Ragspierre on May 17, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Sorry — no matter how much weight I need to lose, I’m not about to French-kiss a gila monster. 😛

Mary in LA on May 17, 2012 at 7:07 PM

The diabetes drug is Byetta. I started using it 4 years ago. Not only got my blood sugar in great control, but also helped me lose about 50 lbs. Really does reduce food cravings.

You tend to throw up when you start using it, but that passes. And it’s not a pill BTW. I inject it twice a day.

Demonized on May 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Eat this, I milked it from a Gila monster.

I just lost my appetite.


BDavis on May 18, 2012 at 1:38 AM