- Dutch researchers hope to develop food that tricks the brain into thinking we are full
- Could have an instant effect on the obese
By Mark Prigg
PUBLISHED: 06:09 EST, 27 July 2012 | UPDATED: 06:16 EST, 27 July 2012
A Dutch team has already started work on the intelligent foods that could one day help the world beat obesity.
They hope the foods will contain a special chemical that mimics the message our gut sends the brain when it is full.
By sending the message earlier, the brain can be fooled into not overeating.
‘We know nutrients interact with gut cells, which dispatch chemical messengers – hormones– to the brain to signal ‘stomach full’,” endocrinologist Jens Holst of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, told youris.com.
This messaging from our food to gut to brain is now being decoded to fight obesity.
Holst discovered a small molecule in the gut, called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which acts on parts of the brain that regulate appetite.
He is now involved with an EU funded research project, Full4Health, to try and find out exactly how the gut tells the brain when it is full.
‘There is a raft of hormones, which are all satiety hormones, which will tend to help terminate a meal,’ said project coordinator Julian Mercer, obesity scientist at the University of Aberdeen, UK.
‘We don’t know much about which nutrients are involved and whether we can manipulate how food interacts with those signalling systems and how those systems are integrated at different levels in the brain.’
The team hope their research could lead to drugs which mimic the message, and hope to eventually make food that can also contain the messages.
‘It would be even better if we could come up with smart food,’ says Mercer.
Recent research found Britain has one of the most sedentary populations on earth, with almost twice the proportion of people defined as ‘inactive’ as in neighbouring France.
The global figures reveal that even the Americans put Britain to shame when it comes to taking exercise.
In the UK, 63.3 per cent of the population fails to meet recommended levels of physical activity, increasing their risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
By comparison, 40.5 per cent of US citizens are inactive, despite more than 30 per cent of them being obese.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2179777/Beating-bulge-Scientists-say-smart-foods-hold-key-losing-weight.html#ixzz21tHWKKFT