Food and Behaviour Research

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13 November 2014 - Science Daily - Liver, brain communicate in order to regulate appetite

A new study demonstrates that high hepatic glucose stores in mice prevents weigh gain. The researchers observed that in spite of having free access to an appetizing diet, the animals’ appetite was reduced. This is the first time that a link has been observed between the liver and appetite.

The liver stores excess glucose, sugar, in the form of glycogen - chains of glucose -, which is later released to cover body energy requirements. Diabetic patients do not accumulate glucose well in the liver and this is one of the reasons why they suffer from hyperglycemia, that is to say, their blood sugar levels are too high.

A study headed by Joan J. Guinovart at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) demonstrates that high hepatic glucose stores in mice prevents weigh gain. The researchers observed that in spite of having free access to an appetizing diet, the animals' appetite was reduced. This is the first time that a link has been observed between the liver and appetite.

On the basis of the results published in the journal Diabetes, the researchers argue that the stimulation of hepatic glycogen production would provide an efficient treatment to improve diabetes and obesity.