UCL News


Hope for hormone to regulate hunger

15 October 2003

Dr Rachel Batterham was the lead author of a study revealing that people suffering from obesity had lower than average levels of hunger-regulating hormone PYY3-36, published in the 'New England Journal of Medicine'.

Dr Rachel Batterham

PYY3-36 normally signals that food has been eaten to the appetite regulating circuits in the brain. The findings of low levels of this hormone in obese subjects may explain why they feel more hungry and can experience difficulties in losing weight.

Her research also found that when obese volunteers were given PYY3-36, they felt less hungry and ate significantly less food in the 24-hour period after the study, suggesting that PYY3-36 may help treat obesity.

Dr Batterham stressed that there is still a lot more work to be done "We now need to do studies over a longer period to see whether the decrease in appetite and food intake we have seen translates into weight loss. We also need to establish why levels are low in obese people."

She said: "If this passes clinical trials, it will not be a wonder treatment. PYY3-36 will only be useful in conjunction with significant lifestyle changes."

For more information contact Dr Batterham using the link below.

Link: Dr Batterham