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Weight and Obesity

Hunger Hormone Found in Brains Appetite Control Center

20 years, 8 months ago

11583  0
Posted on Nov 10, 2003, 11 p.m. By Bill Freeman

Scientists have discovered that the so-called 'hunger hormone' ghrelin is present in the appetite control center of the brain. Ghrelin, which was dubbed the 'hunger hormone' after experiments showed that people given the hormone ate up to a third more food than usual, was first found in the stomach.

Scientists have discovered that the so-called 'hunger hormone' ghrelin is present in the appetite control center of the brain. Ghrelin, which was dubbed the 'hunger hormone' after experiments showed that people given the hormone ate up to a third more food than usual, was first found in the stomach. A short time later, it was also identified in the brain, although until now scientists were unable to pinpoint its exact location. Dr Tamas Horvath of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues located ghrelin in the hypothalamus, in between structures responsible for appetite regulation. Horvath, suspects that the ghrelin system in the brain may transmit signals that affect appetite even when we do not need food. For example, ghrelin could make us feel hungry when we smell something cooking. The discovery suggests that a drug that blocks ghrelin could help to prevent obesity, while another that raises ghrelin levels could be used to stimulate appetite, and thus help to prevent weight loss in people with diseases such as cancer and AIDS.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 24th February 2003

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