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Satiety signals and obesity

Hellström, Per M.

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: March 2013 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p 222–227
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0b013e32835d9ff8
NUTRITION: Edited by David H. Alpers and William F. Stenson

Purpose of review The obesity epidemic over the world has called to attention different ways to manage this development. As bariatric surgery today is the only manner by which rapid and sustained weight control can be achieved, new ways of treating obesity are under investigation. This review focuses on today's knowledge on satiety signaling as a means to combat obesity.

Recent findings The combined knowledge achieved from obesity surgery with gastric bypass and duodenal switch together with the pharmacological treatment of type 2 diabetes have given us some clues of how to manage obesity. The basis for our understanding is the present research focusing on the gut peptide hormones that are released in response to food intake, and the paucity of satiety signaling seems to prevail in obesity. This means that obese patients experience less activation of higher brain centers in association with a meal and therefore compensate with increased meal size or frequent food intake.

Summary Altered satiety signaling primarily emanating from the gastrointestinal tract seems to lead to the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Pharmacological tools that enhance the gut hormone signaling are in focus for the upcoming venues of treatment.

Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Correspondence to Professor Per M. Hellström, MD, PhD, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala University Hospital, Building 40, 5th floor, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. Tel: +46 18 611 4285; fax: +46 18 509297; e-mail: Per.Hellstrom@medsci.uu

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.