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Scientists identify liver hormone that can reduce cravings for sweet and alcohol

Baba Health Tips

 Scientists claimed that a hormone that could control sugar cravings has been identified in the liver.

Research conducted on monkeys and mice has shown the hormone, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), tells the brain to avoid seeking sweet foods.

The growth factor, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), is produced in the liver and helps to regulate energy homeostasis along with circadian behavior, and growth, among other things.

Increased interest in this growth factor has led to long-acting analogs of FGF21 currently in clinical trials for the treatment of obesity and type II diabetes.

In one recently published study, researchers confirmed that FGF21 is produced in response to carbohydrate intake and signals the brain to suppress carbohydrate intake. In this way, they contend, FGF21 is a part of a negative feedback loop which regulates carbohydrate intake.

The research was the result of collaboration between scientists at the University of Iowa and the University of Copenhagen.

That research team confirmed their hypothesis by evaluating the food preference in mice with and without the FGF21 gene. Both sets of mice were given free choice between a standard chow diet and a high-sucrose diet.

While both sets of mice consumed the same amount of total energy, the knockout mice (those lacking the FGF21 gene) preferred the high-sucrose diet 2:1. The mice also gained weight at the same rate.

Senior author Matthew Pottoff of the University of Lowa said that a lot of work has examined the central mechanism regulating sugar seeking behavior.  But he also added that the post ingestive mechanisms regulating sugar appetite are poorly understood.

Scientists have also said that an additional work is necessary to identify the exact neural pathways that regulate fibroblast growth factor 21 and ability to manage sugar preferences.

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