The findings of a study which appears in the November 26th issue of the journal Cell could potentially pave the way for a new form of obesity treatment it has been claimed.
Researchers at the University of Yale have found a molecule which can affect the hunger levels of rats and mice.
The investigation centred on a group of lipids called N-acylphosphatidylethanolamines (Napes), which are produced by the small intestine following the ingestion of fatty foods.
Crucially, when mice and rats were given an extended course of Nape injections they appeared to lose their appetite as they started to eat less and lose weight.
Furthermore, scientists discovered that Napes have influence over neurons which help to reduce appetite.
According to Gerald I Shulman, Yale professor of medicine and cellular & molecular physiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, the next step is to determine whether the conclusions drawn in the study can be applied to humans as well as non-human primates.
"If chronic Nape treatment is well tolerated and can cause weight loss by a reduction of food intake, we would have strong impetus to move forward with human Nape trials," he commented.
A senior cosmetic surgeon from India recently highlighted the fact that obesity treatments such as liposuction should not be seen as the exclusive preserve of women and encouraged more men to take advantage of the surgical procedure.
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