Researchers in the UK have discovered that topping up levels of a gut hormone could help people stave off feelings of hunger as well as increase activity in overweight and obese people.
According to research to be published in the International Journal of Obesity injections of the appetite-suppressing hormone oxyntomodulin, which is found in the lower intestine, have a “double effect” on people.
Chief researcher Steve Bloom of Imperial College London points out that, “The discovery that this hormone has a double effect, increasing energy expenditure as well as reducing food intake, could be of huge importance. When most people diet, this produces a reduction in activity, which is probably an adaptive trait to conserve energy during times of famine. However, this does make it especially difficult for obese individuals trying to loose weight. In contrast, oxyntomodulin decreases calorific intake, but actually increases energy expenditure, making it an ideal intervention for the obese.”
The research builds on Bloom’s earlier findings reported in the journal Diabetes in 2005, which were hailed as a major breakthrough in treating obesity.