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Aug 21, 2013 09:27 AM EDT

Obese People Never Feel Full Due To a 'Misfiring' Appetite Hormone, Study

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Glucagon, an appetite-regulating hormone fails to function properly in overweight people, hence leaving them hungry even after a meal, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Chariti-University Medicine.  The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The researchers also found that glucagon suppresses hunger in people with type 1 diabetes.

The primary function of the Glucagon, secreted by the pancreas, is to hint the body to release stored glucose when blood sugar level is too low. But new evidence also indicates that it might also be responsible for regulating sensations related to eating, such as fullness and satisfaction. Researchers believe that glucagon signals the body to adjust the levels of other appetite hormones such as ghrelin.

"Once a person becomes obese, glucagon no longer induces feelings of fullness," said Dr Ayman Arafat of Chariti-University Medicine in Germany and the study's lead author.

The scientists arrived at the conclusion after examining glucagon levels and appetite among 11 obese people, 13 lean people and 13 people who had Type 1 diabetes. All of them were injected with either glucagon or a placebo.

Participants who were lean and belonged to type 1 diabetes reported greater feelings of fullness after receiving glucagon; on the other hand, there were no drastic differences in feelings of fullness among obese participants who received glucagon injections and those who were given the placebo.

'The findings could influence efforts to develop new treatments for obesity and diabetes. Although therapeutic agents that influence glucagon and other hormones currently are considered a promising avenue for research, this study suggests a treatment involving glucagon may be ineffective in controlling meal size in people who are obese.'

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