The Heart Scan Blog: Why do morphine-blocking drugs make you lose weight?
Naloxone (IV) and naltrexone (oral) are drugs that block the action of morphine.
If you were an inner city heroine addict and got knifed during a drug deal, you'd be dragged into the local emergency room. You're high, irrational, and combative. The ER staff restrain you, inject you with naloxone and you are instantly not high. Or, if you overdosed on morphine and stopped breathing, an injection of naloxone would reverse the effect immediately, making you sit bolt upright and wondering what the heck was going on.
So what do morphine-blocking drugs have to do with weight loss?
An odd series of clinical studies conducted over the past 40 years has demonstrated that foods can have opiate-like properties. Opiate blockers, like naloxone, can thereby block appetite. One such study demonstrated 28% reduction in caloric intake after naloxone administration. But opiate blocking drugs don't block desire for all foods, just some.
What food is known to be broken down into opiate-like polypeptides?
Wheat. On digestion in the gastrointestinal tract, wheat gluten is broken down into a collection of polypeptides that are released into the bloodstream. These gluten-derived polypeptides are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain. Their binding to brain cells can be blocked by naloxone or naltrexone administration. These polypeptides have been named exorphins, since they exert morphine-like activity on the brain. While you may not be "high," many people experience a subtle reward, a low-grade pleasure or euphoria.
For the same reasons, 30% of people who stop consuming wheat experience withdrawal, i.e., sadness, mental fog, and fatigue.
Wouldn't you know that the pharmaceutical industry would eventually catch on? Drug company startup, Orexigen, will be making FDA application for its drug, Contrave, a combination of naltrexone and the antidepressant, buproprion. It is billed as a blocker of the "mesolimbic reward system" that enhances weight loss.
Step back a moment and think about this: We are urged by the USDA and other "official" sources of nutritional advice to eat more "healthy whole grains." Such advice creates a nation of obese Americans, many the unwitting victims of the new generation of exorphin-generating, high-yield dwarf mutant wheat. A desperate, obese public now turns to the drug industry to provide drugs that can turn off the addictive behavior of the USDA-endorsed food.
There is no question that wheat has addictive properties. You will soon be able to take a drug to block its effects. That way, the food industry profits, the drug industry profits, and you pay for it all.