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

Health & Nutrition News

Family awareness highlighted during World Diabetes Day

14 Nov 2018 --- Four in five parents have trouble recognizing the warning signs of diabetes, according to research by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). To mark this year’s World Diabetes Day, IDF is seeking to raise awareness of the effect diabetes has on the family, with a particular focus on prevention and management of the disease. 

Health & Nutrition News

Bone broth growth: Essentia taps healthier alternative trends with new organic beef bone broth powder

14 Nov 2018 --- Trends toward high-protein, low carb foods are driving innovation at Essentia Protein Solutions which is tapping into the growing popularity of bone broth as part of its showcase during the forthcoming Food Matters Live, in London next week (20-22 November 2018). The company will be presenting a range of nutrient-rich applications including a new organic beef bone broth, a collagen peptide-based cordial drink and a high protein pork crunch snack.

Health & Nutrition News

Beef extract obtained from cooking process may boost exercise performance, mice study finds 

13 Nov 2018 --- An extract obtained by cooking beef could improve exercise performance and lessen post-exercise fatigue, a mice study published in Nutrients has found. The study sought to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of beef extract on exercise performance, as well as the related role of the gut microbiota. Although the extract was found to improve exercise performance by preserving muscle glycogen, it was independent of any relationship with the gut microbiota.

Food Ingredients News

Diabetes and cardiovascular disease top the list of health fears for older men, Lycored reveals

13 Nov 2018 --- Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are the most common health concerns for older men in the west, a new survey by wellness company Lycored has revealed. The research also indicates that  US men are more worried about heart disease than they are about cancer.

Health & Nutrition News

Yuzu, taro and cookie dough: Innovative flavors flex their muscles in sports nutrition category 

12 Nov 2018 --- The sports nutrition market is continually undergoing growth, necessitating flavor innovation for both product differentiation and base-protein taste masking. In an era of bountiful choice, it has never been more critical, yet challenging, to stand out on the shelf, and one way to catch a consumer's’ eye is through novel flavor use. “Flavours of the future” in the sports nutrition market span global cuisines to tantalize future consumer taste buds with yuzu and mochi flavors, as well as US-style s’mores, cookie dough and birthday cake, according to a research project conducted by Synergy Flavours. 

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