Preclinical trial underway exploring use of magic mushrooms to treat obesity

Shrooms to treat obesity?

Could magic mushrooms help treat eating disorders?

It’s an idea that Vancouver-based NeonMind Biosciences Inc. and the University of British Columbia is investigating, according to CTV News Vancouver.

A preclinical trial is now underway at the university focused on the use of psilocybin to treat obesity.

NeonMind Biosciences Inc. develops products containing medicinal mushrooms. The organization is working with psychiatry professor Dr. C. Laird Birmingham from UBC, who is an expert in eating disorders.

"Most people lose weight, but they rarely maintain," said Birmingham in a statement from NeonMind.

"Psilocybin has the potential to serve as a new and different tool to help people lose weight and maintain their weight loss by changing their neural pathways.”

Part of the trial is focused on whether psychedelics such as psilocybin can change unconscious responses, including emotional responses to stressful situations which in turn, can trigger addictions, including diet related addictions.

Birmingham says there is potential to "reset the behaviours and cognitions that link life stress and trauma to eating behaviours.”

The next step for NeonMind is to develop phase two of its trial.

Previous studies from UBC suggests the controlled use of psilocybin has been somewhat successful in treating PTSD and addiction, as well as psychedelic drug use having a positive impact on regulation of emotions as well as reduced domestic violence among men.

As evidence continues to emerge in support of psilocybin treating anxiety and depression, more are pushing for the legalization of psilocybin for medical use in Canada.

-With files from CTV News Vancouver

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