Scientists have located the “hunger nerve” in our bodies that tells our brains when we want food and discovered how to switch it off.
The “hunger nerve” is also known as the posterior vagal trunk and is located in the neck. When your stomach is empty, the nerve signals your brain that you’re hungry.
Dr. David Prologo, an interventional radiologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, conducted a study where 10 people who were significantly overweight had their posterior vagal trunks frozen.
The procedure is minor — afterward a small bandage was applied to the skin and patients were sent home the same day.
The experiment was only meant to test the safety of the procedure, but it also found that freezing the nerve could lead to weight loss.
All 10 people in the experiment were overweight, aged between 27 to 66 and had body mass indexes (BMIs) ranging from 30 and 37, meaning they ranged from “moderately” to “severely” obese.
Patients were monitored after seven, 45 and 90 days and at each appointment reported a decreased appetite, with an average weight loss over 3.6 percent.
All of the participants’ BMI numbers came down about 13.9 percent.
“I had struggled with weight since my 6-year-old was born … and I’m constantly rebounding [with various weight-loss programs],” Prologo’s first patient, Melissa, said in the news release video.