Scientists find hormone that could stop cravings for sweets

It’s all in your … liver.

That craving for chocolate, a drink, that pie? It could all be controlled by a hormone produced in the liver.

Researchers from the University of Iowa discovered that a hormone called fibroblast growth factor 21, or FGA21, is produced in the liver if the level of carbohydrates is high.

It enters the bloodstream and sends a message to the brain to tamp down the craving.

This was tested on mice and potentially could be used to help diabetics and the obese.

“This is the first liver-derived hormone we know that regulates sugar intake specifically,” Matthew Potthoff, assistant professor of pharmacology in the UI Carver College of Medicine and co-author of the paper published in the journal “Cell Metabolism,” said in a statement.

Earlier research found that hormones affect appetite but they were made in organs other than the liver.

In these experiments, scientists injected the hormone into normal mice and gave them a choice: normal diet or high in sugar.

Those injected with the hormone ate seven times less than normal. And the mice that did not have the additional hormone ate more sugar.

Next, researchers want to study if additional hormones exist to regulate fat and protein.

By Jacqueline Cutler

Source: New York Daily News – http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/scientists-find-hormone-stop-cravings-sweets-article-1.2478554