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Appetite reducing hormone high in anorexic girls

Adolescent girls with anorexia have increased levels of an appetite-suppressing hormone called peptide YY.

Appetite reducing hormone high in anorexic girls

Adolescent girls with anorexia have increased levels of an appetite-suppressing hormone called peptide YY, which is a hormone released by the gut in response to a recently consumed meal. The more calories the meal contains, the more peptide YY is released. The hormone then travels to the brain where it works to reduce appetite. Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital, USA found that the relationship between central nervous system and (gut) peptides and appetite regulation is an emerging and important area of investigation. In rodents as well as in obese adults, peptide YY administration decreases food intake. The researchers hypothesised that peptide YY might be elevated in patients with anorexia. To investigate, they studied 23 girls with anorexia and 21 healthy girls between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. It was found that levels of peptide YY were significantly higher in the anorexic girls than in their healthy counterparts. Moreover, weight gain in the anorexic girls was associated with a drop in peptide YY levels. The finding of increased peptide YY levels in anorexia nervosa raises many questions regarding underlying (nerve and hormone) abnormalities in patients with this disease. Whether these abnormalities are a response to the disease or are a part of its cause remains to be determined.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,
April 2006
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