Protein component points to new anti-obesity treatments, study suggests

8c683035-edbe-4b8e-8e6a-d1d18a3edceaarticleimage.jpg

08 Nov 2017 --- A component of dietary protein called phenylalanine can suppress appetite by affecting the release of appetite-regulating hormones in the gut, according to new research presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Harrogate, UK. The results of the study on mice show how phenylalanine reduces food intake by affecting the gut and the brain, and suggest that it may be used to prevent or treat obesity.

Although high-protein diets have been shown to be satisfying and to promote weight loss, they can be hard to maintain and may lead to other health problems in the long term, the Society for Endocrinology press release notes. 

Phenylalanine is an amino acid produced in the gut when protein is digested and has previously been shown to affect the release of gut hormones that reduce appetite in rodents. However, it was unclear exactly how the amino acid was causing this release and whether other systems were involved in phenylalanine's appetite suppressing effects.

Mariana Norton, the Ph.D. student who conducted the study, comments: “Understanding how food is detected in the gut may help to identify ways of treating or preventing obesity. The next step is to establish whether phenylalanine can drive similar appetite-reducing effects in humans.”

“Diets high in protein are known to encourage weight loss but adhering to them can be difficult,” Norton continues. “Identifying the mechanisms that sense the protein may allow us to use drugs or functional foods to hijack appetite regulation and treat obesity.”

Phenylalanine reduces appetite
To investigate the effects of phenylalanine on appetite and gut hormone release, Professor Kevin Murphy and colleagues at Imperial College London examined the effect of the amino acid on food intake and brain activity in areas known to be involved in appetite regulation.

Mice were given phenylalanine, either orally or rectally, to assess the effects on different parts of the gut. Food intake was monitored at regular intervals over 24 hours and the amount of activity in brain areas associated with appetite regulation was also assessed.

Both oral and rectal phenylalanine reduced food intake of the mice and increased activation in a brain area known to be involved in regulating appetite. After rectal administration, even an amount of phenylalanine ten times lower than would be eaten daily on a high protein diet resulted in reduced food intake and activated the appetite-regulating centers in the brain.

These data suggest that phenylalanine may reduce appetite through different pathways in the upper and lower gut. Although it is unknown whether phenylalanine has the same effects on human appetite, this research indicates that the amino acid may have an important role in regulating food intake that could be used to treat obesity.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

UK sugar reduction efforts fail to reach initial target, industry urged to step up or face tax

23 May 2018 --- The first assessment of the UK government’s sugar reduction program has unveiled failings by industry to reduce sugar in the first year by 5 percent, leading to calls of a sugar tax on sweet treats. The results of the first year have been roundly criticized in the media and described as “hugely disappointing” after Public Health England data revealed that sugar was cut in some categories – sweet spreads and sauces, yogurts and fromage frais and breakfast cereals – while other food groups have fallen short.

Nutrition & Health News

Green protein boost: INCJ and Mitsubishi Corp. invest over US$15m in microalgae protein maker

23 May 2018 --- Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Mitsubishi Corp. (MC) have announced a joint investment in microalgae company Tavelmout through the acceptance of a third-party allocation of shares by Tavelmout. The total investment amounts to 1.7 billion yen (US$15.47 million), evenly split between INCJ and MC. Through their participation in Tavelmout, a company aiming to mass produce and popularize spirulina, MC and INCJ are seeking to contribute to the diversification of sustainable protein sources.

Nutrition & Health News

Diabetes UK: “Consumers want to see clearer calorie labeling on food and menus” 

23 May 2018 --- Consumers are more likely to purchase food if it is accompanied by clear calorie labels on its packaging or on the menu of the establishment, a survey conducted by Diabetes UK’s campaign, Food Upfront, has found. The survey sheds light on how the availability of clear labeling on food and drink could have considerable influence on the spending habits of the British public. Therefore, the campaign is calling for mandatory front-of-pack traffic light labeling on foods and menu calorie labeling in eating establishments.

Nutrition & Health News

Top companies reflect mixed progress on commitment to global nutrition, ranking shows

23 May 2018 --- Nestlé has nabbed the highest ranking spot in the 2018 Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), reflecting its overall performance in nutrition-related commitments. Meanwhile, FrieslandCampina has improved the most since 2016, climbing four places in the ranking largely thanks to a new strategy to tackle under-nutrition and more responsible marketing commitments. However, the ATNI state that many companies are still doing too little in the realm of nutrition. The ATNI is the third Global Index that ranks the world’s 22 largest food and beverage companies on their contributions to addressing the twin global nutrition challenges of overweight and diet-related diseases and under-nutrition. 

Nutrition & Health News

Taiyo: Tapping into tea's health benefits

22 May 2018 --- Manufacturer of functional ingredients Taiyo presented its Sunphenon teas and Xia Oil as convenient, safe and suitable for a range of applications at Vitafoods last week. Taiyo also exhibited plans to further increase knowledge around tea as a health drink and their innovative beverage combinations with lasting Taiyo ingredients such as Sunfiber. The products in question can be used in an array of drinks applications, packing health punches that range from omega 3 boosts to fiber enrichment. They also target a number of factors including cardiovascular and glycemic health.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/protein-component-points-to-new-anti-obesity-treatments-study-suggests.html