If you have a sweet tooth – there might be hope yet. A new study from the University of Iowa has shown that a hormone produced by the liver can actually suppress our desire for sugar. The hormone is called fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and is produced in the liver when there are high carbohydrate levels there. It will then enter the bloodstream and send a signal to the brain to suppress sugar cravings.
As the study co-author Dr Matthew Potthoff said, “This is the first liver-derived hormone we know that regulates sugar intake specifically.” As the co-author Lucas BonDurant said, “We’ve known for a while that FGF21 can enhance insulin sensitivity. Now, there’s this dimension where FGF21 can help people who may not be able to sense when they’ve had enough sugar, which may contribute to diabetes.”
Certainly, the scientists said that they need further research to identify the neural pathways that regulate FGF21’s ability to manage macronutrient preference.
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As Dr Potthoff explained, “In addition to identifying these neural pathways, we would like to see if additional hormones exist to regulate appetite for specific macronutrients like fat and protein, comparable to the effects of FGF21 on carbohydrate intake. If so, how do those signals intertwine to regulate the neural sensing of different macronutrients?”
Get more details about the study here.