Researchers have found that overeating was linked strongly to a deficiency in the brain hormone glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1), in a Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School study on mice.  When a GLP-1 deficiency was induced, mice made poor eating habits: overeating and opting for high-fat food.

Coauthor of the study and doctoral student Vincent Mirabella said,

"The mice in which the GLP-1 deficiency was induced ate beyond the need for calories and showed an increase preference for high fat food...conversely when we enhanced GLP-1 signaling in the brains of mice we were able to block the preference of high fat foods."

These peptides, produced in the small intestine and brain, communicate bodily sensations related to satiation.  Previous work on brain hormone and satiation functions left researchers confused and raised more questions than answers, however it did suggest eating was related to reward systems in the brain.  The idea is that interfering with communication to the brain's reward centers (through food released neurotransmitters) would inhibit overeating.

A newly approved drug used to improve the body's tolerance for glucose in type 2 diabetes patients mimics the GLP-1 hormone, and it is now being used to combat obesity.

Read the whole article from Science Daily here.

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