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Understanding Appetite Control Opens Doors for Weight Management Nutraceuticals


Understanding Appetite Control Opens Doors for Weight Management Nutraceuticals

GRAFTON, Wis.MAK Wood Inc. released a paper regarding natural control of short-term hunger, which contributes to weight management. According to MAK Wood, researchers have recently uncovered factors relating to short-term weight control, including several proteins that affect appetite. Short-term appetite control is affected by proteins such as cholecystokinin (CCK), ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY), which all function through the arcuate nucleus (ARC) in the hypothalamus of the brain. The hypothalamus has been called the hunger center of the brain and is known to play an important role in food intake and metabolism control, MAK Wood reported.

Some natural products that may have a role in controlling appetite are protein and fiber. Protein independently contributes to satiety by stimulating CCK and activating CCK1 receptors (Am J Physiol, 284, 2:R389-98, 2003), and milk proteins are particularly powerful CCK stimulants, according to MAK Wood. A human study of casein versus whey for their effects on food intake showed whey to be more satiating than casein (Br J Nutr, 89, 2:239-48, 2003). According to MAK Wood, whey elicits an increased satiety response because of its glycomacroprotein (GMP) content; GMP is known for stimulating the release of CCK.

As for dietary fiber, it is a natural stimulus for the release of PYY, which is synthesized in the cells of the small intestine and released postprandially from the gastrointestinal tract in proportion to calorie intake, thereby acting on the hypothalamus and causing diminished feelings of hunger. MAK Wood noted fermentable (or soluble) fibersuch as pectins, gums, mucilages and some hemicelluloseseffectively raises PYY levels.

Although much remains to be learned about the physiological pathways involved in weight control, it is apparent that this is an emerging areas of research that will have a significant impact on how we diet, the review concludes. The ability to control shortterm hunger is a major step to regulating body weight. By increasing our understanding of hunger controls, we open the door to several new nutraceutical targets.

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