We rarely report upon a diet scam that doesn’t exist….yet. But we are confident that you’ll be seeing GDF15 scams in the near future. Internet scammers have made a science out of taking preliminary scientific theories and turning them into FACT. Like a certain current president, these scammers will take a nugget of truth and distort it into an alternative “fact” that forms the basis of one of their bogus diet schemes. In this case, a team of researchers with pharmaceutical company, Amgen, reported that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and monkeys to lose weight. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers explain how they genetically altered a GDF15 protein to induce weight loss in lab animals.
The researchers acknowledge that they do not know why raising levels of GDF15 in the body led to weight loss in test animals, but suspect it is tied to the way the protein interacts with nerve and chemical pathways. Studying the test animals revealed that higher levels of the protein in the body led to food being retained longer in the belly, causing the animal to feel full longer and increasing interest in less fatty food. The test animals lost weight because the protein caused them to eat healthier foods and to eat less food in general. In sharp contrast, control test animals continued to pile on the pounds. Much more testing of the engineered protein will have to be done, of course, to determine if it would be effective and safe for humans.
But the internet diet scammers likely won’t wait. In short order, you’ll be seeing them hawk supplements containing GDF15. So consider this advance warning. If you see a diet featuring a new “miracle protein” guaranteed to help you lose weight, do not click the BUY button. It’s a scam.