People overeat for an array of reasons, from being nervous to lovelorn. Now, researchers say, another reason might be specific hormones in specific places in the brain.
The discovery might lead to new ways to reverse the US obesity epidemic faster and more quickly — with fewer side effects.
An investigation at the Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School found that mice with lower levels of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1, in certain reward centers of their brains, tended to eat when they weren’t hungry and to gravitate more toward fatty foods. When the hormone’s levels were increased in those centers, the mice ate less and lost their preference for high-fat fare.
TRENDPOST: A drug that mimics the effects of GLP-1 is used to treat obesity, but it circulates throughout the body, often causing nasty side effects such as pancreatitis and gall bladder disruptions. Being able to develop targeted therapies to specific brain circuits will be not only more effective, but safer.