Gut Bacteria Tell Us When We Are Full

New research is showing that specific gut microbes signal use to stop eating following a meal. A recent release in Cell Metabolism journal shows that certain proteins are produced 20 minutes following a meal to suppress appetite and further food intake. When these bacteria produced proteins were injected into mice and rats they acted on the brain to reduce appetite.

It is known that hormones signal the brain when we are hungry and when we are satiated. These findings are now being discovered to support this process of appetite control. It appears that these proteins are produced by mutualistic E. coli after they are satiated, and then stimulate appetite-regulated neurons in the brain to suppress appetite.

It is well known the types of foods we eat largely affect that gut flora. Since these proteins are linked gut flora, it stresses the importance of healthy eating as a way to promote effective hormonal and neural signaling of satiety pathways. Further studies will look to explore the roles of other bacteria in these pathways and further physiological mechanisms that are involved.

Jonathan Breton, Naouel Tennoune, Nicolas Lucas, Marie Francois, Romain Legrand, Justine Jacquemot, Alexis Goichon, Charlène Guérin, Johann Peltier, Martine Pestel-Caron, Philippe Chan, David Vaudry, Jean-Claude do Rego, Fabienne Liénard, Luc Pénicaud, Xavier Fioramonti, Ivor S. Ebenezer, Tomas Hökfelt, Pierre Déchelotte, Sergueï O. Fetissov. Gut Commensal E. coli Proteins Activate Host Satiety Pathways following Nutrient-Induced Bacterial Growth. Cell Metabolism, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.10.017

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