Nav: Home

Greater production of 'feeling full' hormone could be responsible for weight loss

August 05, 2016

A preliminary study might hold the key to why over-80s are prone to losing weight.

The research by Mary Hickson, Professor of Dietetics at Plymouth University, found that after eating, elderly people produced a greater amount of peptide YY (PYY) - the hormone that tells humans when they're full.

The study saw six healthy women over the age of 80 eat a breakfast after several hours of fasting; and their hormone levels were compared to those of a number of healthy younger participants in age brackets 20-39; 40-59; and 60-79.

Professor Hickson measured levels of PYY at regular time intervals for three hours in each participant alongside levels of ghrelin - the hormone that tells us when we're hungry.

Researchers had previously suggested that weight loss in the over-80s, termed 'anorexia of ageing', could be down to lower production of ghrelin, resulting in older people feeling less hungry.

But the results showed that each of the over-80s tested produced a greater amount of PYY than their younger counterparts, while their ghrelin levels did not change.

To obtain a more accurate picture of whether this could be the case in all older people, Professor Hickson has recommended that the study be carried out on a larger number of participants of both genders, but said that, at this early stage, she was intrigued by the findings.

Professor Hickson said: "With ageing there is frequently a loss of appetite, termed anorexia of ageing, which can result in under-nutrition. We do not know how appetite control alters with ageing, so this study was a necessary and promising start.

"The difficulty we have is ensuring that all test subjects are healthy - and finding over-80s with no existing health problems was a challenge. We recognise that healthy subjects over this age are not necessarily representative of their population due to the lack of ill health, but excluding illness was necessary to test whether ageing per se is associated with changes in appetite control.

"If further studies on a greater number of participants show an increased production of PYY, we can work to investigate this hormone imbalance to address, and hopefully combat, anorexia of ageing."

Professor Hickson's paper - Increased peptide YY blood concentrations, not decreased acyl-ghrelin, are associated with reduced hunger and food intake in healthy older women: Preliminary evidence - is available to view in the journal, Appetite.
-end-


University of Plymouth

Related Weight Loss Articles:

Cash for weight loss
A new study, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, has shown that selling rewards programmes to participants entering a weight loss programme is a low cost strategy to increase both the magnitude and duration of weight loss.
Is alternate-day fasting more effective for weight loss?
Alternate day fasting regimens have increased in popularity because some patients find it difficult to adhere to a conventional weight-loss diet.
Bullies and their victims obsessed with weight-loss
School bullies and their victims are more obsessed with weight-loss than anyone else, according to new research by the University of Warwick.
Weight loss actually possible after menopause
Talk to a woman in menopause and you're likely to hear complaints about hot flashes and an inability to lose weight, especially belly fat.
Weight loss reduces psoriasis symptoms
Weight loss has a significant and prolonged positive impact on psoriasis symptoms and quality of life.
Weight loss may help prevent multiple myeloma
Carrying extra weight increases a person's risk that a benign blood disorder will develop into multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.
Gastric bypass is better than other procedures for sustainable weight loss
Gastric bypass surgery is more effective for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance than are other surgical procedures and non-surgical treatment, according to a study led by researchers at Duke Health and the Durham VA Medical Center.
Weight loss surgery associated with increased fracture risk
Severely obese patients undergoing weight loss surgery are more likely to have increased fracture risks both before and after the surgical procedure compared to obese and non-obese people people who don't need surgery, finds a large study published by The BMJ this week.
Online intervention helps sustain weight loss
New research, led by the University of Southampton, has found that an online behavioural counselling tool is effective at helping people lose weight.
Study compares effectiveness of weight-loss drugs
In an analysis that included nearly 30,000 overweight or obese adults, compared with placebo, orlistat, lorcaserin, naltrexone-bupropion, phentermine-topiramate, and liraglutide were each associated with achieving at least 5 percent weight loss at 52 weeks, and phentermine-topiramate and liraglutide were associated with the highest odds of achieving at least 5 percent weight loss, according to a study appearing in the June 14 issue of JAMA.

Related Weight Loss Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...