'Appetite-suppressing' effect of proteins explained by researchers

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food intake, Nutrition, Protein

'Appetite-suppressing' effect of proteins explained by researchers
Researchers have mapped out the chain reaction of signals that send satiety messages to the brain after a protein-rich meal.

The study – published in Cell​ – describes in detail the complex chain reactions triggered by digesting proteins, which lead to a 'satiety' message being sent to the brain after a meal. The researchers mapped out the signals that travel between your gut and your brain to generate the feeling of satiety after eating a protein-rich meal. Understanding this back and forth loop between the brain and gut may pave the way for future approaches in the prevention of obesity.

The authors, led by Dr Gilles Mithieux of the Université de Lyon, France, said their results will make it possible to envisage improved strategies for the care of overweight people.

"These findings explain the satiety effect of dietary protein, which is a long-known but unexplained phenomenon,"​ said Mithieux. "They provide a novel understanding of the control of food intake and of hunger sensations, which may offer novel approaches to treat obesity in the future,"​ he adds.

Study details

The researchers revealed that food intake can be modulated through mu-opioid receptors (MORs) – which also bind morphine – on nerves found in the walls of the major blood vessel that drains blood from the gut (the portal vein).

Specifically, they said, stimulating the receptors enhances food intake, while blocking them suppresses intake.

They found that digested dietary proteins stimulate these MORs, thus curbing appetite. The peptides send signals to the brain that are then transmitted back to the gut to stimulate the intestine to release glucose, suppressing the desire to eat.

Mithieux noted that mice that were genetically engineered to lack MORs did not carry out this release of glucose, nor did they show signs of 'feeling full', after eating high-protein foods. He noted that because MORs are also present in the neurons lining the walls of the portal vein in humans, the mechanisms uncovered by the team may also take place in people.

The team says that the challenge is now to determine how to act on the mu-opioid receptors to control the fullness sensation over long periods.

Mithieux revealed that if used too intensely, the receptors may become insensitive: “A means of activating them 'moderately' must be found, thus retaining their long-term beneficial effects on controlling food intake."

Related news

Related products

show more

Dimpless®, new scientific evidences on cellulite

Dimpless®, new scientific evidences on cellulite

Robertet Health & Beauty | 19-Feb-2019 | Technical / White Paper

With 85-95% of women concerned, cellulite can undeniably be called a universal issue. First natural ingredient benefiting from a clinically proven oral...

The Ingredients Show 2019 NEC Birmingham

The Ingredients Show 2019 NEC Birmingham

William Reed | 01-Jan-2019 | Product Brochure

We’ve been bringing food and drink markets together for over 150 years. And the drive to
inform and serve our sectors that fuelled the launch of...

Faster, Higher and Stronger for Longer

Faster, Higher and Stronger for Longer

Gelita AG | 02-Nov-2018 | Application Note

Bioactive Collagen Peptides® are expanding more and more into active nutrition, where they can play a unique role in helping athletes and active people...

Protecting Protein, Protecting the Industry

Protecting Protein, Protecting the Industry

European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance | 17-Jul-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Protein spiking, or adulteration, is an emerging issue in Europe. ESSNA knows that as a result of some uncertainty around the regulatory definition of...

Related suppliers

1 comment

Protein and Satiety

Posted by Stella Metsovas,

Genetic susceptibilities within carbohydrate overloading could be controlled through identifying natural mechanisms like MORs. Looking forward to future studies...

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars