Appetite Supression Using Hormones
An article I saw recently on Yahoo! News, discusses the discovery of a new appetite supressing hormone found in mice. The study focuses on a molecule known as N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine or NAPE for short. The compound was found by examining the blood of mice using LCMS after the ingestion of large amounts of lipids. It was found that the levels of NAPE increased dramatically and the physiological effects of NAPE had never previously been studied. The hormone is released by the small intestine after the ingestion of fat.
It was found that the food intake of mice could be controlled though injections of NAPE. In large doses (1000 mg/kg body weight), the mice would almost completely stop eating. The effects of the NAPE injection was found to last for 12 hrs for this high dose of NAPE. It was found that the NAPE acumulates in the hypothalamus, and it is believed that this direct interaction with the central nervous system is how the NAPE reduces appetite. It was determined that NAPE treatment supresses the neurotransmitter neuropeptide y, which is involved in stimulating the desire to eat. It was also found that a high fat diet reduced the ability of the mice’s body to produce NAPE.
This research could lead to a new insight into reasons for obesity in humans. It also may lead to a novel treatment for obesity using injections of NAPE and related compounds. However, the research is still years away from human application.