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U.S. military researchers are working on a powerful new weapon that could soon fall into civilian hands: a drug that would allow people to go safely without food for nearly a week at a time.
The metabolic dominance program's vision is to help those fighting a war to operate at "superior" levels of physical and mental performance for three to five days, 24 hours a day, "without the need for calories."
DARPA, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, has given scientists until the end of March to submit proposals for new ways to make food dispensable. The most ambitious goal for this "operational dominance" is to artificially manipulate the human body's metabolism and find ways to better access energy-rich fat stores.
In other words, a potential pill that would burn up fat -- without gobbling up muscle as an energy source -- during prolonged periods of self-starvation, without affecting vital fuel supplies to the brain.
People have to work exceedingly hard to get into their fat stores. Even male athletes who want to get their percentage of body fat down from, for example, 21 per cent to 18 per cent, "have to exercise aerobically for at least half an hour before you start accessing fat stores," says Dent, medical director of the Ottawa Hospital's Weight Management Clinic. And while humans can go a month without food, "we don't function at peak performance."
Numerous drugs have been developed in conjunction with U.S. army researchers, including "wake-promoting" agents, pills that essentially eliminate the need for sleep for days.
Now, the Pentagon's quest to make soldiers function without food could lead to "grunts who are pretty much immune to normal human demands," reports Wired magazine.
Originally posted by tomcat ha
I barely have any fat to burn.