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Fast Eating Limits Gut Hormones That Induce Fullness

The result is overeating, research shows

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Eating too fast can lead to overeating because gulping down food limits the release of hormones in the gut that trigger the feeling of being full, Greek researchers have found.

For the study, volunteers ate 300 milliliters of ice cream at different rates. Blood levels of glucose, insulin, lipids and gut hormones were measured before and after consumption of the ice cream. Participants who took 30 minutes to finish the ice cream had higher concentrations of the gut hormones peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide and also tended to feel more full than those who took less time to eat the ice cream.

Previous research has shown that the release of these hormones after a meal tells the brain the person is full, but this is the first study to examine how different rates of eating affect the release of the hormones.

"Most of us have heard that eating fast can lead to food overconsumption and obesity, and in fact some observational studies have supported this notion," lead author Dr. Alexander Kokkinos, of Laiko General Hospital in Athens, said in a news release from the Endocrine Society. "Our study provides a possible explanation for the relationship between speed eating and overeating by showing that the rate at which someone eats may impact the release of gut hormones that signal the brain to stop eating."

The study findings were released online Nov. 4 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about food portions.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: The Endocrine Society, news release, Nov. 4, 2009

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