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.

Comments (4) Add yours ↓
  1. jaxtell

    I understand that this research can be very beneficial for observing obesity in humans, but my concern is for those who may use it as a dieting tool. I could see this falling into the hands of diet freaks who want to stop eating completely, increasing the number of cases of anorexia, etc. I would hope that if it is commercialized that it’s very well regulated.

    17 December 2008
  2. jpaul

    I think we should just start taxing fatty foods…although I can’t take the credit for this idea: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/12/18/paterson.obesity/index.html

    18 December 2008
  3. adetmer

    I agree with Jon. I am concerned that if this is a very beneficial tool for controlling obesity that it will become a diet trend that could cause sudden weight loss due to a suppressed appetite. I think that NAPE should only be used for medical conditions for those whose weight is dangerously high. I also think that this should be something that is given by a doctor only so it does not end up in the hands of people who want to abuse it.

    18 December 2008
  4. aferdous

    I also agree with Jon and Amy. Perhaps they could only use this method to control serious weight issues, such as genetically transmitted problems with obesity. The problem I have with these kinds of things is that people are so lazy these days, and always look for a “quick fix” to their problems. I mean really, what ever happened to exercise and not eating junk all the time?

    20 December 2008

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