Despite more than 25 years of research on antiobesity drugs, few medications have shown long-term success. Now researchers reporting online on December 21 in the Cell Press journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism say that targeting taste sensors in the gut may be a promising new strategy.
The gut "tastes" what we eat—bitter, sweet, fat, and savory—in much the same way as the tongue and through the use of similar signaling mechanisms. The result is the release of hormones to control satiety and blood sugar levels when food reaches the gut. The sensors, or receptors, in the stomach respond to excess food intake, and their malfunction may play a role in the development of obesity, diabetes, and related metabolic conditions.
Drs. Sara Janssen and Inge Depoortere, of the Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, examine this possibility, offering insights into the latest research on the topic. They say growing evidence suggests that obesity and related conditions might be prevented or treated by selective targeting of taste receptors on cells in the gut to release hormones that signal a feeling of fullness, thereby mimicking the physiological effects of a meal and fooling the body into thinking that it has eaten.
"The effectiveness of bariatric surgery to cause profound weight loss and a decrease in the prevalence of diabetes and other obesity-related conditions is not completely understood, but it may involve changes in the release of gut hormones," says Dr. Depoortere. "Targeting extraoral taste receptors that affect the release of hormones that control food intake may offer a new road to mimic these effects in a nonsurgical manner."
Additional studies are needed to show which gut taste receptors might be effective drug targets for the prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes.
Cell Press: http://www.cellpress.com
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
The complicated science behind picky eating is giving experts plenty of food for thought
The compound kills disease-causing parasites by popping them like water balloons
The U.S. had planned to build 17 treatment units across Liberia, one in each county's major town. Now that more cases are appearing in remote areas, the Army may need to rethink its strategy.
A woman is thought to be spreading Ebola in a remote village. So health workers spend four hours trekking through the bush to track her down. By the time they make it, it's too late.
Doctors have used perfect replicas of childrens' hearts to uncover and repair hidden defects
An experiment testing people’s altruism in the face of electric shocks is clear on one thing: we are drawn to these little blasts
Researchers gear up tests in West Africa to see whether blood from Ebola survivors can help people who are sick with the disease. This is part of a broader effort to test therapies in West Africa.
The virus's foray into Europe coincides with peak production of Christmas turkeys, the poultry species most vulnerable to bird flu
A novel kind of nanoparticle could lead to more effective cancer treatments.Patients and doctors often don’t know if surgery to remove cancerous tissue was successful until scans are performed months later. A new kind of nanoparticle could show patients if they’re in the clear much earlier.
One challenge in evaluating the effectiveness of different medical procedures, is that patients behave differently after different procedures. Is this true for patients getting heart surgery?