Fullness Factor: Gut hormone tells brain the stomach is well fed

10:44am, August 7, 2002

Sooner or later during a meal–unfortunately often later–you become satiated, and your body lets your brain know that there's no need to eat more. Scientists suspect that the body coveys this message in multiple ways, but one research team now reports that a hormone discovered more than 2 decades ago could be the primary satiety signal sent to the brain.

People who fasted and then received an injection of the hormone, called PYY3-36, 2 hours before an open buffet ate about one-third less than when they didn't get the hormone. And young mice receiving twice-daily injections of the hormone over a week showed suppressed appetites and far less weight gain than untreated rodents did.

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