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Hormone found to decrease appetite and increase activity

New research shows how topping up the levels of a hormone found in the gut could help reduce the appetite and increase activity in overweight and obese people.

The study now being pre-published online in the International Journal of Obesity shows how the team from Imperial College London gave injections of oxyntomodulin to fifteen overweight but healthy volunteers from Hammersmith Hospital, and monitored how this affected their food intake, and levels of activity.

Professor Steve Bloom, from Imperial College London, who led the research, said: "The discovery that this hormone has a double effect, increasing energy expenditure as well as reducing food intake, could be of huge importance. When most people diet, this produces a reduction in activity, which is probably an adaptive trait to conserve energy during times of famine. However this does make it especially difficult for obese individuals trying to loose weight. In contrast oxyntomodulin decreases calorific intake, but actually increases energy expenditure, making it an ideal intervention for the obese."

The researchers used fifteen healthy overweight male and female volunteers, aged between 23 and 49 years. The volunteers completed three separate four-day study sessions, where they self administered either saline or oxyntomodulin according to a double blind randomised trial.

After the first injection, the volunteers were given a meal, and their calorific intake was monitored. They spent the next two days in their normal environment, self administering oxyntomodulin three times a day before meals. On the fourth day, the volunteers came back to the hospital to have their energy expenditure measured.

They found that after the first meal, the volunteers ate on average 128 kcal or 17.4 percent less, while activity related energy expenditure increased by an average of 143 kcal or 26.2 percent.

The researchers also found a reduction in body weight by an average of 0.5
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Contact: Tony Stephenson
at.stephenson@imperial.ac.uk
44-207-594-6712
Imperial College London
26-Apr-2006


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