With the holidays come the traditions of sharing meals, desserts and treats with family, friends and co-workers. But the need to reduce the amount of food we consume daily – during the holiday season and throughout the year -- has acquired a greater sense of urgency in the wake of America’s obesity epidemic. As scientists look for ways to help us battle the bulge, a new study suggests that our own hormonal makeup may offer promising clues. A team of researchers has tested the hypothesis that gastric distension in humans can enhance the effect of cholecystokin (CCK) on the reduction of food intake. The researchers conclude that CCK’s suppression of food intake is enhanced when the stomach is distended.
CCK is a hormone released when digested fats and proteins are present, and reduces food intake. CCK stimulates enzyme secretion in the pancreas. The process eventually leads to inhibiting gastric emptying of the stomach’s foods, thereby causing gastric distension. It has been suggested that increased gastric distension, induced by slowing of gastric emptying, may be the method by which CCK reduces food intake.
The main results for the genders together showed a significant reduction in intake after a combination of CCK and distension, supporting the notion that gastric distension, rather than nutrient content, is likely to be the major determinant of the enhanced food intake-reducing effect of CCK. Taken together, all the findings suggest that the combination of a gastric distension with stimulation of CCK receptors could lead to the development of an effective appetite-suppressing agent that relies on natural satiety-inducing processes.
Source: November 2003 edition of the American Journal of Physiology–Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. The journal is one of 14 scientific journals published each month by the American Physiological Society (APS).
The American Physiological Society (APS) was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied science, much of it relating to human health. The Bethesda, MD-based Society has more than 10,000 members and publishes 3,800 articles in its 14 peer-reviewed journals every year.
Donna Krupa | American Physiological Society
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