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Histamine Blockers and Weight Loss

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Millions of Americans regularly take some form of Histamine blocker, either for nasal congestion or for acid reflex.  New research suggests that targeting Histamine receptors could lead to a new generation of anti-obesity drugs.

To date, several studies exist demonstrating that cimetidine, the main ingredient in Tagamet, when used intermittently with diet and exercise, contributes to weight loss.

Before you run out and buy some Tagamet to include in your weight loss routine, what you should know is that the latest research indicates Histamine is a powerful neurotransmitter acting on energy regulation and feeding behavior.
Research indicates Histamine acts as a mediator on the hormone Leptin.

Leptin is a hormone that acts on the hypothalamus to inhibit appetite.

In clinical studies histamine deficient mice have been show to be prone to diet induced obesity. Other studies show mice given histamine knockout or suppression protocols are more susceptible to obesity from a high fat diet.

The latest research gives reason to pause before thinking taking a Histamine blocker is a great way to accelerate weight loss. The data seems to indicate that blocking Histamine may be associated with problematic feeding behavior.

Part of the explanation why Tagamet seems to accelerate weight loss while knocking out Histamine in animal studies leads to obesity is that there are several different types of Histamine receptors.  Many animal studies have been conducted on the H1 Histamine receptor. Tagamet works on the H2 Histamine receptor.

Additionally, research with anti-depressant drugs, some of which act on Histamine, has shown many can create weight loss when used short term, but weight gain with long term use.

Ultimately, our goal in this article is not to advocate the use of Histamine blockers for weight loss, but to suggest you exercise CAUTION in the use of Histamine blockers in general.

There is still much we do not know about the role of Histamine and it’s long term manipulation. Blocking Histamine seems to both stimulate weight loss and weight gain, depending on the receptor and site of action.

Histamine and the Regulation of Body Weight.
Jørgensen EA, Knigge U, Warberg J, Kjær A.