Hunger cravings? Try this pill avoid overeating

Hunger cravings? Try this pill avoid overeating
Highlights

Hunger Cravings? Try This Pill Avoid Overeating. Soon all you may have to do is pop a pill to get over the urge to eat, as scientists have identified the peptide that can reduce our hunger cravings.

Washington: Soon all you may have to do is pop a pill to get over the urge to eat, as scientists have identified the peptide that can reduce our hunger cravings.

Using an experimental model, the researchers found when administering pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP), a peptide and hormone produced by neurons, in a specific area of the brain called the "central amygdala," it reduced the intake of food and led to weight loss.

The study may one day lead to medications that treat obesity and binge eating disorders.

According to the researchers PACAP is known for its food intake and body weight effects in the hypothalamus (the area of the brain known for controlling appetite). However, this is the first report of PACAP effects in the amygdala, a region of the brain outside the hypothalamus, involved in fear but also in the emotional component of eating.

The researchers also discovered how PACAP decreases food intake when injected in the amygdala. In general, food intake can be decreased in two ways: eating fewer meals of normal size during the day, or smaller meals.

Valentina Sabino, PhD, at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) explained that they found that amygdalar PACAP reduces the amount of food eaten within meals, but not how many meals are consumed. In addition, they also found that PACAP reduced the rate of intake of food. This meant that, following administration of PACAP, models were eating more slowly.

The researchers believe these findings have implications for a variety of conditions, since they found not only how much food subjects ate but also how fast they ate them. "The PACAP system may hypothetically be the target of medications to treat not only obesity but also binge-eating, a disease characterized by excessive, uncontrollable consumption of food within brief periods of time," added co-author Pietro Cottone, PhD.

The study appears in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

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