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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Appetite Regulation

Very extensive research, over many decades, has identified a number of biochemical routes that can influence appetite in humans.

For an overview, see: Mechanisms of Appetite Regulation Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 51():p S123-S124,

In particular, the so called 'hunger hormones' leptin and ghrelin, are known to play a crucial role in the biochemical feedback mechanisms involving the brain - especially in the hypothalamus. Pleasure-seeking responses to food intake are also influenced, for example, by endorphins, dopamine, and endocannabinoids.

The feedback system is so complex - involving not only bio-chemical, but also psychological and cultural factors - that an overall inclusive picture is not yet agreed.

Appetite regulation by the brain undoubtedly depends on signals received from the periphery. The stimulus to eat, at first claimed to originate in the stomach, is now proposed to be a consequence of departures from homeostatic levels of glucose, lipids, or amino acids. Debate continues about whether changes in the availability of each of these metabolic fuels give rise to separate feedback signals or whether this information is integrated to produce a single, common, stimulus to eat."

Source : International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences

The lack of understanding presumably contributes to the current slow progress in tackling the so-called 'obesity epidemic'.

Also see : Gastrointestinal weight-loss surgeryplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigGastrointestinal weight-loss surgery

Gastrointestinal weight-loss surgery, also known as Gastric Bypass surgery refers to surgical processes in which the stomach is divided and reduced (usually by more than 90%), and then the small intestine is rearranged to connect to the new, smaller, stomach 'pouch'.

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