Navigation Links
'Hunger Hormones' May Drive Post-Dieting Weight Gain

By Mary Brophy Marcus
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight people who diet and successfully shed pounds only to gain the weight back again within a year can blame their hunger hormones, new research suggests.

In a small study published in the Oct. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Australian scientists found that after overweight and obese patients followed a low-calorie diet for 10 weeks, their appetite and hunger hormone levels changed. While some hormone levels increased and others went down compared to before they dieted, nearly all of the changes favored the body's efforts to regain the lost weight.

The scientists used blood tests to measure levels of nine different hormones at the start of the study, at week 10 when the diet period ended, and again a year later.

The hormone levels did not revert to baseline values within 12 months after the initial weight reduction, said study senior author Dr. Joseph Proietto, a University of Melbourne professor of medicine at Austin Health in Victoria.

For example, in follow-up blood tests, one hormone called ghrelin, an appetite stimulator produced by cells in the lining of the stomach, increased after weight loss and continued to do so throughout the study. On the other hand, levels of the hormone leptin, which suppresses appetite, went down.

"The implication of these findings is that subjects who have lost weight need to remain vigilant and understand that once they have lost weight, the battle is not over," said Proietto. The maintenance phase may be indefinite, he said.

The new study confirms previous findings, said endocrinologist Dr. David Heber, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles. "There's been a lot of research to show that once people lose weight their natural hormones are pushing them to regain that weight, which is what this study shows. The reason is we're well adapted to starvation and poorly adapted to over-nutrition," Heber said.

While many studies have looked at hormonal levels short-term, this study's demonstration that changes in appetite hormones can persist up to a year is notable, said Dr. Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University, in Philadelphia. "It's interesting that hormone effects last such a long time," he said. But he notes that the study is very small and had no control group.

Proietto says some participants dropped out, and four others did not lose the 10 percent of body weight required for the follow-up phase of the study, so only 34 of the 50 people who started are included in the final results.

In addition to the having their hormone levels measured, the participants also rated their appetites. A "significant" increase was reported as time marched on, the authors said.

"It's difficult, though, to draw conclusions from the patients' subjective appetite ratings," Foster said. "Boy, what a loaded question. Hunger can mean different things to different people. When you say you're hungry, does it mean you're dizzy or just hungry, or did you just see a piece of carrot cake and now you want it so that makes you hungrier? Hunger isn't the driving force for most people who overeat," Foster said.

Dr. Kimberly Brownley, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the study is interesting but only offers one perspective -- one set of data. "A limitation is that they didn't look at brain changes, too. The brain is always in control, in the driver's seat," she said.

The authors said the findings also imply that drugs to suppress hunger may be useful in the long term, but behavioral factors linked to overeating should also be tackled, Heber noted. "Food addiction needs to be addressed. We've found that 50 percent of overweight people have food-addiction issues," he said.

Overweight individuals shouldn't be discouraged by the new research suggesting hormones are a big player in weight regain, said Heber. "The power is in your hands to get to a healthy body weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising and receiving proper medical supervision. We have lots of evidence showing people have lost weight this way," he said.

"There will never be a magical pill that allows you to eat what you want and lose weight. The idea of this is really a disservice to society," he said.

More information

The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity provides information on food and addiction.

SOURCES: David Heber, M.D., director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, Los Angeles; Gary Foster, Ph.D., director, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, Philadelphia; Kimberly Brownley, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Oct. 27, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Brain responses of obese individuals are more weakly linked to feelings of hunger
2. Hunger atlas takes a new look at an old problem
3. NRPA Launches National Hunger Relief Initiative at Indianapolis' Douglass Park
4. Kylie Kwong & Oxfam's Recipe to Stop Hunger
5. Despite food-assistance programs, many children experience food insecurity, hunger
6. Feeding America's David Arquette and Courteney Cox Team Up With the National Association of Letter Carriers to Stamp Out Hunger™
7. Nutritional Aid is Cost-effective Measure Against Health and Hunger Problems, World Vision Tells Congress
8. Bread for the World, USDA Secretary Urge Congress to End Child Hunger in U.S.
9. Stress hormones may increase cardiovascular risks for shift workers
10. Sex hormones impact career choices
11. Fluctuating Hormones Linked to More Severe Bipolar Symptoms
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
'Hunger Hormones' May Drive Post-Dieting Weight Gain 
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... The Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health (FBPH)—a ... with the award-winning creator and writer of Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes to host ... Union League of Philadelphia. , The benefit, titled “An Evening with Julian ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Specialty Ingredients (ASI) as their exclusive channel partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products ... markets in the US, effective immediately. , “We are pleased to announce ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... California-based i2i Systems, a ... today that Michigan-based Family Health Center (FHC) has selected i2iTracks as their population ... was awarded the largest Affordable Care Act grant for Federally Qualified Health Centers ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... quality of life in the womb. "My last baby had high blood pressure due ... way for mothers to protect their babies from noise pollution as well as radio ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an interview with Andy ... a top ophthalmologist on Long Island’s east end. During the broadcast, entitled “Eyes: the ... and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts, and how a visit with his grandmother to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... KIRKLAND, Wash. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of Post-Processing services, is pleased to announce a ... of medical imaging services. Building on its ISO-9001:2008 ... adopted and implemented comprehensive Core Lab protocols and ... wide variety of research activities.  Their Core Lab ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Mexico Healthcare and Life Sciences ... Report 2015 . --> Pharmaboardroom releases its new 98-page ... Latin America , a country of over 122 million ... of over 122 million people. --> It offers companies, ... life sciences insights into the second largest pharma and healthcare market ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 Elbit ... the "Company") announced today that it was informed by InSightec ... Drug Safety (MFDS) has approved its Exablate Neuro system ... --> --> Insightec,s Exablate Neuro ... alternative that combines two technologies: Focused Ultrasound, which is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: