Top-ups of naturally occurring gut hormone could help treat obesity

September 03, 2003

Researchers from Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospital have discovered that obese people have lower than average levels of the hunger regulating gut hormone PYY3-36. They think this deficiency could be the key to tackling obesity.

According to their research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, obese people have on average, a level of PYY3-36 that is one third lower than that of lean volunteers.

The researchers also found that by infusing PYY3-36, they were able to reduce the perceived appetite and calorific consumption of both the lean and overweight volunteers by around a third for a period of 24 hours.

Professor Steve Bloom from Imperial College London and the Hammersmith Hospital, and one of the paper's authors, comments: "The discovery that obese people have lower levels of PYY3-36, an important factor limiting appetite, suggests a possible new treatment for the millions suffering from obesity."

"Our previous research has shown that it is possible to reduce calorific consumption in lean volunteers by giving PYY3-36. These new findings suggest boosting PYY3-36 offers a novel approach towards treating the epidemic of obesity in our society."

Dr. Rachel Batterham, an author of the paper who carried out the research as a Wellcome Trust researcher while at Imperial College London, and who is now based at University College London, adds: "PYY3-36 is a naturally occurring hormone that is released from the gut in response to eating, and it signals to the brain that a meal has been eaten. This deficiency of PYY3-36 we observed in obese subjects could be the reason why some people become obese and others don't. Further research is now needed to establish whether we can change people's diet to increase the release of this hormone."

The researchers studied twelve obese and twelve lean volunteers in a double blind, placebo controlled crossover study. After an overnight fast subjects attended the Hammersmith Hospital Sir John McMichael Research Centre at 8.30 am. They were then given a ninety minute infusion (placed on an intravenous drip) of either PYY3-36 or placebo (a saline solution). Two hours after the end of the infusion, where the volunteers did not know if they were receiving the PYY3-36 or the placebo, they were offered an unlimited buffet meal.

All 24 volunteers ate less on the day when they received a PYY3-36 infusion compared with the placebo day. Overall PYY3-36 reduced calorific intake by a third in both the lean and obese subjects.
-end-
The research was supported in part by the Wellcome Trust and by a grant from the Medical Research Council.

Notes to editors:
1. Inhibition of Food Intake in Obese Subjects by Peptide YY3-36, New England Journal of Medicine, 4 September 2003.
2. Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (10,000) and staff (5,000) of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture. Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk.

Imperial College London

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.