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Dietary fiber may curb appetite by acting on brain

Digesting fiber from blueberries and other foods may release molecules that travel to and act on the the brain region that regulates appetite, a new study in mice suggests.

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Fiber's ability to curb appetite may come from gut molecules traveling to and acting on the brain, not the gut alone. As mice digest fiber, their guts release a molecule called acetate that appears to influence appetite suppression chemicals sent from the brain, researchers report April 29 in Nature Communications. The finding could open up new possibilities for weight management, the scientists say. It's unclear exactly how the gut-made acetate influences the brain chemicals that regulate appetite, and it's unknown wheather the amount of fiber given to the mice in the study would be part of a realistic diet.

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