Washington: Sugar cravings are quite common during the holidays and now, a cure for the same is a major step nearer with the discovery of an "anti-sweet tooth" hormone.
The University of Iowa-led study in mice shows that a hormone produced by the liver, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), suppresses the consumption of simple sugars. The researchers report that FGF21 is produced in the liver in response to high carbohydrate levels. FGF21 then enters the bloodstream, where it sends a signal to the brain to suppress the preference for sweets.
This is the first liver-derived hormone that regulates sugar intake specifically, said researcher Matthew Potthoff.
The research could improve diet and help patients who are diabetic or obese.
Co-first author Lucas BonDurant said that they have known for a while that FGF21 can enhance insulin sensitivity. Now, there's this dimension where FGF21 can help people who might not be able to sense when they've had enough sugar, which may contribute to diabetes.
Based on these results, the team concluded that FGF21 decreases appetite and intake of sugar. However, FGF21 does not reduce intake of all sugars (sucrose, fructose, and glucose) equally. FGF21 also doesn't impact the intake of complex carbohydrates.
The study is published online in the journal Cell Metabolism....