Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The "bitter" sugar-For consumers it is sweeter!

It is said rightly that only crying babies get attention from mothers and this applies to real life situations also when those seeking the attention always cry hoarse to get the same! Latest example is the sugar industry in India which is raising a huge hue and cry regarding the dire straits it is in because its inability to stand up to the challenges of price global melt down that is happening now. Though India is one of the largest sugar producing countries in the world, it is always Brazil that calls the shots in the sugar market because of its large cultivation area under sugarcane. This is understandable because this country has an agenda different from that of India as its mandated policy of alcohol blending with fossil fuels to the extent of 15% calls for huge production of ethanol from sugarcane which is being done directly from sugarcane juice itself rather than through the molasses route. This gives it a flexibility to switch the product mix depending on the market conditions. Due to its sustained efforts to expand sugarcane cultivation it extended the acreage by deforesting thousands of acres of forest land which in the end analysis might not turn out to be prudent because of its impact on climate changes. Any how at present it is enjoying an advantage in sugar production and it is true that a glut like situation has developed resulting significant price depression in the global sugar market. Here is a commentary on this development on which Indian sugar industry feels threatened. 

"The apex body of Indian sugar industry red flagged "challenging situation" for the sector due to falling prices of the sweeteners, excess production and tightening of lending by banks that is forcing millers to sell at cheaper rates for generating cash-flow. The industry also expressed its fear of Brazil producing more sugar than ethanol because of falling crude price, which may make the situation worse for them. Raising the fear from Brazil, which could have serious implications on the international price of the sweetener, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) president A Vellayan said, "On the international front, due to the steep fall in oil prices, there is clear possibility that what might happen in Brazil is the shift from ethanol to sugar production. With the Brazilian currency falling, the price of Brazilian sugar will be so cheap that it will threaten to come into India and despite the import duty, it will be cheaper than Indian sugar."  He said government must take all possible steps to ensure that no quantity of sugar gets imported. "That's why we are demanding 40% increase in import duty and extending the subsidy for export of raw sugar so that we can export our raw sugar before the prices fall further," Vellyan said. Brazil is the biggest producer of sugar and ethanol as well."  

Added to the production glut, Brazilian currency is also depreciating making its sugar cheaper than that of India. Whether the government of India will listen to the Association and put restrictive controls on sugar imports or increase the import duty remains to be seen. Sugar scenario in India is very complex and no single step by the government can restore stability to the sugar trade.Farmers are encouraged to go in for sugarcane cultivation by providing irrigation facilities and imposing minimum support prices at which sugar mills must buy the cane from the farmers. Also there are still some controls on release of sugar by the mills in the open market , the so called "free sugar" because of government's need to buy sugar at low prices to feed the public distribution system in the country. Thus sugar may be bitter for the mills at present because of declining prices but consumers should have no complains at getting sugar at cheaper prices! However how this distorted conditions will work out for the farmers as well as the industry in the long run must concern the government which has tied itself into knots through short sighted policies during the last 5 decades.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Looking for virgin olive oil? Here is a tool for easy testing

Olive oil is a much valued "healthy" vegetable oil in great demand through out the world. Whether it is for its health benefits or for its characteristic flavor olive oil is widely prefered as compared to other liquid oils. All edible oils are made of a mixture of fatty acids and glycerol and the ultimate fluidity will depend on the extent of unsaturated fatty acids present in a given oil. As a thumb rule more fluid an oil is, higher can be contents of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Both MUFA and PUFA are highly regarded for their influence on heart health and other benefits for human beings. Good things some time come with a rider and olive oil is no exception. Because of unsaturated fatty acids, its shelf life is some what restricted as it gets rancid due to oxidation at ambient conditions. Also it attracts hordes of fraudsters to tamper with it by mixing with cheap oils. Incidentally olive oil is the costliest edible oil, the prices being 100-500% more than other vegetable oils. Extra virgin olive oil is a much coveted product made under mild processing conditions so that the rancidity level is practically undetectable and it fetches higher price compared to other grades of olive oils. Recent announcement that a simple device has been designed to confirm whether samples of olive oil are really virgin is being welcomed by the organized industry which has a stake in protecting the USP of virgin olive oil. Here is a take on this new development.

"What does rancid olive oil look like, chemically speaking, and how do you build a device that can quickly, easily and inexpensively test for those signature chemical compounds? That was the daunting task facing the six iGEM team members, the best and brightest of the hundreds who applied to be part of the 2014 UC Davis team. "It's extremely complicated," said Selina Wang, research director for the UC Davis Olive Center and one of four advisers to the 2014 iGEM team. "The chemical methods we have available now are either too crude and don't correlate with sensory traits, or are too time-consuming and require expensive instruments. The students' goal was to generate an affordable device to detect a comprehensive profile of signature rancidity compounds that match what we smell." They're really close. Their electrochemical biosensor — shaped liked an oversized thermometer — comes complete with the computer hardware and software necessary to read rancidity levels in a single drop of oil. "It's not perfect, but we're getting there," said Aaron Cohen, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering. Their biosensor will be best suited for producers, buyers and retailers because it's probably too complicated in its current form to easily test olive oil quality at home. But Wang sees a day when a future generation of this technology could be built into every bottle of extra-virgin olive oil to guarantee freshness. "That way, consumers can see at a glance whether their olive oil is starting to turn rancid," Wang said. In the meantime, people throughout the olive oil industry, here and abroad, could benefit from the new biosensor, which the team predicts will retail for about $125. "I think their project has great potential," said David Garci-Aguirre, production manager at Corto Olive Co. in Lodi. "A biosensor that provides an easy, affordable way to help ensure the quality of our olive oil could prove an incredibly useful tool for us, for retailers and especially for consumers. I see this kind of innovation really helping to get good oils into the hands of those who are trying to buy good oils."

The claim by the scholars who worked on this device needs to be independently verified because many a time scholarly research runs into problems when commercially applied.  As a biosensor is used for measuring rancidity in the oil and subsequent computation requiring electronic computing system, the claim that it could be useful to consumers may be some what far fetched and rightly the innovators admit about this limitation. It is good that they are looking further to develop a thermometer sized device amenable for use by consumers is encouraging. Rancidity is usually measured by parameters like peroxide values and other chemical paradigms which can give an approximate indication of the quality of the product but requires laboratory facilities to carry them out. Sensory tests also can differentiate between virgin olive oil and other grades but these tests are some what subjective requiring highly trained taste panelists. The above efforts in evolving a new simple and inexpensive tool for confirming the grade of olive oil are timely and relevant. 


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Is glycemic index of foods becoming irrelevant? Some think so!

Ever since the Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL) concepts became acceptable for differentiating carbohydrates in terms of their ability to release glucose into the blood and the pace at which blood glucose spikes after food consumption, no serious challenge was made against it. Now comes a report originating from the reputed National Institute of Health at Bethesda, USA (NIH) indicating that for a normal person GI and GL do not make much difference in spawning heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes. According to this new findings, high GI foods do not cause these diseases and on the contrary low GI foods can increase insulin insensitivity which is not desirable. Original GI innovators who pioneered the study in 1988 ultimately coming out with the GI yardstick, do not seem to be agreeing to the conclusion of the latest NIH study and here is this issue discussed threadbare.

The idea that all carbohydrates are not created equal has become the foundation of many popular diets. Some argue that foods like white bread and potatoes, which have a high so-called glycemic index because they spike blood sugar and insulin, should be avoided in favour of  healthful carbs like whole grains and non-starchy vegetables. But rigorous new research from the National Institutes of Health suggests that for people who already follow a healthful diet, the glycemic index (GI) may not be very important. The study found that diets containing low glycemic foods did not lower cholesterol compared to diets containing mostly high glycemic foods. Nutrition experts argue that low glycemic diets improve blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. But the new study found that low glycemic diets actually made insulin sensitivity worse. "The dogma out there is that a high glycemic index is bad," said Dr Robert Eckel, a past president of the American Heart Association, who was not involved in the research. "I hope that ultimately the glycemic index will be left on the shelf." Developed in 1981, the glycemic index reflects the extent to which carbohydrate-containing foods raise a person's blood sugar and subsequent need for insulin. The idea is that low glycemic foods are better for health, warding off diabetes and weight gain, because the carbs they contain are digested at a slower rate. The glycemic index indicates how quickly a particular carbohydrate raises blood sugar, but not how much of it is in a typical serving of a given food. So proponents of the index have also come up with another system, known as glycemic load, which takes portion sizes into account. Last year, a committee of scientists led by the chair of the Harvard School of Public Health called for glycemic values to be included on food labels and emphasised in dietary guidelines. The committee said it was crucial that the public understand the glycemic response to foods "given the rapid rise in diabetes and obesity." In the new study, researchers wanted to find out whether diets that were similar in calories and carbohydrates but composed of either high or low glycemic foods had different effects on cardiovascular health. So they recruited 163 people who were mostly overweight and had high blood pressure, putting them at greater risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The subjects were rotated through four diets for five weeks at a time, with all of their food provided to them. The researchers said they devised each diet to be heart healthy, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, beans, fish, poultry, lean meat and grains. Two of the diets were slightly higher in carbs than what an average American eats, and two were slightly lower. Researchers then altered the types of carbs they contained. The low glycemic diets included things like whole grain bread and cereal, apples, steel-cut oats, and non-starchy vegetables. The high glycemic diets allowed things like white bread, carrot and bran muffins, instant rice and instant oatmeal, and sweet snacks like honey, bananas, and apricots in heavy syrup. When the overall amount of carb intake was lowered, cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure moved in the right direction. But when two diets had similar amounts of carbs and calories, the low glycemic approach did not improve insulin sensitivity, cholesterol or blood pressure levels. Unnecessary fuss over GI Dr Frank M Sacks, the lead author of the study and a professor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, said that other trials carried out even longer had reached similar results. He said that people should eat whole grains, fresh produce and high fibre foods because of the nutrients they contain. But unless someone has diabetes and must monitor their blood sugar levels, people who are already following a health-ful diet do not need to worry about the blood-sugar impact of one type of fruit or grain versus another. "The takeaway is a good message for people," he said. "They can pick foods that are part of a healthy dietary pattern without wondering if they're high or low glycemic. They don't have to learn that system." The developer of the glycemic index, Dr David Jenkins, a professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto, added that the study was limited because it did not include people with Type 2 diabetes, a rapidly growing population that has the most problems with blood sugar control. "If they had done that," he said, "they would have made it easier to see some of the cardiovascular benefits."
It may be recalled that there have been demands from some section of the nutritionists about the urgent need to declare GI of each food on the label as they feel that provides an option to the consumer to select low GI foods. But if the latest study is confirmed and there is unanimity among the peers regarding the limited role GI plays in life style diseases for a normally healthy person, including GI values may have opposite effect viz such foods' potential to worsen insulin insensitivity. The rider contained in the study in NIH that their findings apply only to those consuming a "healthy" diet regularly makes it again controversial because most Americans do not have the habit of eating such foods containing predominantly whole food grains, fruits and vegetables. If this is so are they not better of sticking to low GI foods? Of course ideal thing would be to change the diet to include more and more high fiber foods derived from unrefined grains and fruits and vegetables. GI and GL definitely will play a role in the lives of people affected by Type II diabetes as it is essential for them to prevent glucose spikes for which low GI foods are a better bet.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Universities getting into "hunger amelioration" programs? What can they do?

Universities are always considered as centers of higher learning where students can achieve academic excellence through hard work in a congenial environment. Some of them are specialized in application oriented research, results of which are used by the industry and the society for the betterment of humanity. Such research efforts are bought by the user industries by investing in the required infrastructure for mass production. But it is difficult to imagine these universities ever bothering about food scarcity and hunger prevalent mostly among poor people in many countries and this attitude often invites criticisms from some quarters regarding their elitist nature. Such a notion is sought to be removed by the latest move by a few universities in the US banding together under an initiative from the US government to work for food security around the globe. This new initiative is expected to help coordinate existing endeavors in some universities which are working on energy, health and other pressing problems to day's world is facing. Here is a take on this new development which if it is seriously pursued can make this world a better place to live.

"Penn State is one of  one of nearly 50 universities worldwide that have banded together to address the global issue of hunger  Leaders from these universities will sign The Presidents' Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security – a declaration acknowledging their commitment to make food insecurity a priority. There is a ceremonial signing set for Dec. 9 at the United Nations in New York. PUSH – Presidents United to Solve Hunger – was created by Auburn University in Alabama in February as the result of a first-time gathering among leaders of more than 30 universities in the U.S. (including Penn State), Canada and Central America. PUSH and the Presidents' Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security are both direct results of the February meeting. "As a land-grant institution with a major economic impact and research enterprise, Penn State is already playing a tremendous role in addressing extraordinary global challenges related to energy, disease, health care and clean water to name just a few," said Penn State President Eric J. Barron, acknowledging Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences as the lead on this effort for the University. "I'm proud to say that the issue of world hunger also is being addressed in various ways at our University through research and student activism. Our hope is to elevate these activities in concert with other institutions. Together, we have a wealth of expertise and leadership that can lead to meaningful change." The public signing ceremony and other related events mark the first time universities around the world will share a collective focus on ending food insecurity. Tom Gill, assistant director of international programs in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, noted, "Our faculty and students are committed to working across colleges at Penn State and with a range of diverse partners around the world to develop scalable solutions that can combat global hunger." PUSH member institutions include land-grants, liberal arts, faith-based, historically black and Hispanic-serving colleges and universities from five continents.'

One may ask what any university can do to enhance food security situation which is invariably related to the low purchasing power among people due to which they are not able to access food already available in the market. Universities do know this harsh reality but they can always contribute to knowledge regarding the nutrition and health aspects of food and also train people in income generating activities. Besides they can also train health workers and extension activists to provide succor to people. A note of caution is called for in this noble idea as these universities must understand their limitations in establishing outreach to their intended target beneficiaries.  Probably they can best fit into a global program of training the trainers who can disseminate their knowledge and skill by working among the intended beneficiaries. India should also consider joining such a movement which will expose the young university scholars to the reality of food insecurity that exists widely in many parts of the world including India. 


Crazy scientific research! Pray for the "pill", the silver bullet that can trim body weight!

Have you given up on your determination to shed excess body wight because nothing seems to work, whether dieting, exercising, or regularly visiting well being centers? Well there is some crazy researchers in a US university trying to help people like you, trying to develop a "pill" which probably can be included in the medicine chest for regular use along with umpteen number of other pills required these days to ward of bad effects of life style diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease etc. Though such a scenario is far fetched just now, the ever optimistic scientists are upbeat about the chances of such a pill emerging in not too distant a future. Keep your fingers crossed. The basis of such an optimism is that they were able to identify, after screening thousands of chemicals two specific ones capable of shifting the fat making process in the body through white fat cells to brown fat cells, the latter considered a friendly source of harmless fats that burn easily without getting deposited around the abdomen. Though it may be some what premature to hail these findings, the pioneering scientists deserve a pat on their back. Read further below:  

"Researchers at Harvard University say they have identified two chemical compounds that could replace "bad" fat cells in the human body with healthy fat-burning cells, in what may be the first step toward the development of an effective medical treatment – which could even take the form of a pill – to help control weight gain. Not all fat is created equal. While white fat cells store energy as lipids and contribute to obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, the less common brown fat cells pack energy in iron-rich mitochondria, have been shown to lower triglyceride levels and insulin resistance in mice, and appear to be correlated with lower body weight in humans. Brown fat makes up about five percent of the body mass of healthy newborns, helping them keep warm, and is still present in lower quantities in our neck and shoulders as adults, where it helps burn the white fat cells. Associate professor Chad Cowan and colleagues at Harvard say they have developed a way to identify the chemical compounds that induce fat stem cells to produce "good" brown-like fat cells instead of the "bad" white ones. The scientists say they have already used their system to pinpoint two such compounds that can accomplish this in humans. Other drugs (viagra included) have been known to be able to turn white fat cells into brown, but their effect is only temporary. This new method, however, is reportedly showing a stable conversion of fat cells over time, which has an exciting potential for long-term health improvement. But turning these two chemicals into a practical treatment is not going to be a straightforward process. Aside from the lengthy medical trials still to come, the two compounds identified so far both target the same molecule  –  a molecule that contributes to the inflammatory response. The concern here is that tinkering with it by using the compounds over the long term and without modifications could end up compromising the immune system. Cowan's team achieved this result by screening a catalog of only about one thousand compounds. But now, as the first two are being tested on mice to investigate the long-term effects on metabolism and immune system, the researchers are approaching pharmaceutical companies to gain access to a much larger database of over a million compounds, with the hope of finding a candidate that doesn't have the potential adverse effects of the first two."

One interesting question many binge eaters may have is whether such a pill as and when developed and promoted commercially will allow eating to full "heart's" content without facing the adverse consequences that is the rule of the day!. It is very common to day for people to pop in a Unienzyme dragee or antacids like Digene or Gelusil after a heavy meal and will this new pill help the people to eat much more than what they really need or eat foods which are known to cause over weight? No way, because any pill one takes based on synthetic chemicals is likely to have side effects and consumption of such pills must be limited to the bare minimum, that too for therapeutic purpose only.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Who will "supervise" the supervisors- A dangerous regulatory system!

Is accepting "hospitality" from the industry one is supposed to supervise an acceptable practice from an ethical angle? It depends on what is meant by the word hospitality. According the English dictionary it denotes the relationship between the host and a guest and may involve "friendly reception and generous entertainment" . Here again there is ambiguity regarding reception and what type of entertainment is provided. One thing is clear that a government employee or a person contracted to inspect food processing facility cannot be considered a guest since it is a part of a regulatory system where "quid pro" considerations are irrelevant. How sincere a person can be in accepting hospitality from a company where he has been deputed to find whether safety norms are scrupulously followed  or not? It is like giving a judiciary functionary hospitality probably to get a favorable judgment from him which is blasphemy! This is what is happening with US Department of Agriculture whose personnel deputed to over see safety of processing facilities at different places are reported to be allowed to accept hospitality from the company supposed to be hauled up for violations! How trustworthy could that system be and how can consumers repose confidence in such a system, especially at a time when there is a backlash against many questionable practices by the industry being reported in that country? Read the report below and feel how sad such a situation can be when it comes to the common man who trusts the government to protect his health through powers conferred on it. 

Critics refer to the phenomenon as "regulatory capture" — when government inspectors become overly influenced by the industry they regulate. While the accusation is lobbed at many federal agencies, some say USDA is especially vulnerable because it's charged with enforcing the law at facilities that also pay for its services."It's a risk USDA would be more prone to that sort of capture," said Sebastien Pouliet, an Iowa State University economics professor who specializes in food safety. Unlike the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the USDA provides grading, certification and verification services intended to improve agricultural companies' marketing of a variety of farm products, he said. In effect, these processors are the USDA's customers, Pouliet said. "There's sort of a conflict of interest." USDA's Office of Communications did not respond to several requests for comment. More than 2,000 employees of the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service grade, audit, certify and inspect $150 billion worth of food a year. USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service employs more than 8,000 people who inspect about 150 million livestock carcasses and 9 billion poultry carcasses a year. In the case of Snokist Growers, the company hired the Agricultural Marketing Service to grade its canned applesauce so the product could be used in school lunches and USDA food programs. Alguard said she and other inspectors were told to prevent the old applesauce from being sold to USDA, but to disregard the problem in Snokist's products intended for the public. "My boss wanted to keep them happy," she said. "He's there to keep the income flowing into his office so he can stay employed." The applesauce policy contravened an agreement the agency had with FDA to report food safety issues, she said. In 2011, some school children were sickened by Snokist Growers' applesauce, which prompted an investigation by FDA. The illness turned out to be caused by defective cans that allowed pathogens to survive, but Alguard said she told FDA inspectors that moldy bins of applesauce were regularly being reprocessed when they showed up at the plant. "I just knew it was my chance because my boss wasn't going to do anything about it," she said. "They were stunned, to say the least."The FDA's investigation concluded that the mold released toxins into the applesauce that could cause health problems even if the product was heated during canning.

One of the reasons for such undesirable practices creeping into the regulatory system is the onus put on the industry to pay for the expenses of inspectors deputed as the government claims it has no money to meet such expenditure! Is it not a pity that World's most powerful country has no money to spend on citizen's safety vis-a--vis food processed and marketed in the country but spends trillions of dollars on arms race, space exploration and dominating other countries. This is a country where life style diseases like Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease are widely prevalent and the country has no money for dealing with these scourges! Some of undesirable practices being followed by the industry resulting in millions of food poisoning incidences can be attributed to this sham of a process called "inspection". Unfortunately most of the law makers in that country are captives of the powerful industry which sabotages any thing coming from the government intended to safe guard the interests of the citizen! Can any one solve this mega puzzle?


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Another escalation in the fight against diabetes and obesity- A "Silver Bullet" in the making?

There are three hormones in human system that control the metabolism and absorption of glucose and they are now the focus of attention in developing appropriate therapy to attack the diabetes and obesity syndromes widely considered to be reaching epidemic proportions in many countries. These are glucagon, glucagon like peptide (GLP) and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) working in different ways in different locations in the body. In a remarkable breakthrough scientists have now achieved integration of these three hormones in a single molecule to derive all the benefits from them. While glucagon balances any hypoglycemia condition by releasing glucose from glycogen in the liver, GLP inhibits gastric secretion delaying carbohydrate absorption creating a satiety effect. GIP has a major role in neutralizing stomach acid besides slowing down transfer of food across the intestine. GIP also plays a role in insulin secretion enabling the body to metabolize glucose faster and its influence on lipid metabolism is recognized for its potential use against obesity. By combining these three hormones the researchers seem to have succeeded in creating a "silver bullet"  that can deal with both diabetes and obesity. Here is a gist of these findings which appears to be really path breaking in its impact.

"In 2012, we covered work led by Professor Richard DiMarchi that showed linking two hormones into a single molecule held promise as a treatment for obesity. DiMarchi followed this up last year by combining the properties of two endocrine hormones to provide an effective treatment for both obesity and adult-onset diabetes. Continuing in this vein, DiMarchi has now co-led a study whereby obesity and diabetes were effectively cured in lab animals by adding a third hormone to the molecular mix. Clinical work carried out last year, which included human clinical trials, showed a peptide combining the properties of two endocrine hormones, GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) and GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide), provided an effective treatment for adult-onset diabetes. Now the team, co-led by DiMarchi, the Indiana University (IU) Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Matthias Tschöp, director of the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at the German Research Center for Environmental Health, has developed a new molecule that includes a third hormone, glucagon. GLP-1 and GIP are involved in enhancing insulin action and reducing blood glucose in the body, with GLP-1 also acting to reduce appetite. Meanwhile, glucagon is involved in improving liver function and increasing the long-term rate at which calories are burned. Molecularly combining these three hormones forms what is known as a triple agonist, which can bind to and activate receptors in the body and produce certain biological responses. "This peptide represents the first rationally designed, fully potent and balanced triple agonist ever achieved in the treatment of any disease," says DiMarch. "The benefits of the previously reported individual co-agonists have been integrated to a single molecule of triple action that provides unprecedented efficacy to lower body weight and control metabolism." The researchers say that in preclinical trials, this new peptide lowered blood sugar levels and reduced body fat better than all existing drugs. By triggering improved glucose sensitivity, reducing appetite and enhancing calorie burning, it was able to reduce body weight in rodents by around 30 percent, (nearly twice as much as the preceding GLP-1/GIP double hormone), and essentially cured the animals of obesity, diabetes and associated lipid abnormalities. "This triple hormone effect in a single molecule shows results never achieved before,"said co-first author Brian Finan, a scientist at the Helmholtz Diabetes Center. "A number of metabolic control centers are influenced simultaneously, namely in the pancreas, liver, fat depots and brain."

According to the innovators of this novel 3-in-1 hormone peptide molecule, extensive animal studies and limited clinical trials have more or less confirmed about its efficacy in increasing glucose sensitivity, reducing appetite significantly and enhancing burning of calories dramatically. Reduction of body weight to the extent of 30% is a remarkable achievement which will gladden the hearts of millions of people with BMI beyond 30. Hopefully this hormone combination will become the standard bearer in the coming years for world wide use in bringing down obesity, curing diabetes and correcting many lipid abnormalities for which there are no satisfactory treatment protocols at present. Though lot has been said about the efficiency and effectiveness of the new peptide molecule, nothing is mentioned as to how it is produced or how stable it is when administered in human beings. Since only GIP works at the intestinal level, how effectively the peptide is absorbed in the blood is also not clear. As human clinical trials have been carried out one can assume that the claims made by the innovators are valid. Whether there will be any other side reactions in some people is also not known. Let us hope we will have one of the most effective medicines to overcome the twin curses in the form of diabetes and obesity soon and association of one of the giants of pharma industry with this study further reinforces our hope.