Scientists in Japan have been successful in identifying a molecule, which is responsible for making mammals feel full. This discovery could lead to new methods of treating obesity in humans.
Scientists believe that appetite is controlled in a region in the brain called the hypothalamus, and the group of researchers claims to be the first to discover an agent that triggers an increase or decrease in appetite.
The scientists identified the molecule, which is produced naturally in the brain as ‘nesfatin-1’. Soon after injecting the molecule into the brains of rats, the scientists observed that the rodents began to eat less and subsequently lost weight.
Interestingly, the scientists were also able to induce the rats to eat more, by blocking the molecule, ‘nesfatin-1’.
According to Masatomo Mori of the medicine and molecular science department at Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, the new findings could definitely pave way for treating obesity, which has become a major health problem in the developing world as well as in the economically advanced countries.