Navigation Links
Tiny fruit fly could offer big clues in fight against obesity, researcher says
Date:2/11/2010

The tiny tongue of a fruit fly could provide big answers to questions about human eating habits, possibly even leading to new ways to treat obesity, according to a study from a team of Texas A&M University researchers.

Paul Hardin, who holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Biology, along with colleagues Abhishek Chatterjee, Shintaro Tanoue and Jerry Houl, examined the taste organs on Drosophila's proboscis (tongue), which triggers the minute fruit fly's desire to eat or not to eat. They found that several factors, especially the creature's internal daily clock, determine feeding behaviors and these same taste sensitivities very likely apply to humans.

Their work is published in the new issue of the journal Current Biology.

"The 'clock' that influences this decision to eat or not to eat is found inside the taste sensing cells, which send a signal to eat," Hardin explains.

"Once this signal is sent, the brain then tells the fly to eat or not, but all of this seems to depend on the time of day. These clocks have a very direct link to its eating habits."

Drosophila, commonly called fruit flies and smaller than a grain of rice, are found worldwide and there about 1,500 species. The word is a Latin phrase for "dew loving."

Like most flies, they have a natural instinct to seek out food "and they are always looking for something to eat," Hardin adds.

"These inner clocks control the sensitivity to food and also affect how much the flies eat. We found that the highest sensitivity to sugar is in the daytime, and far less at night. But we found that if you eliminate these clocks, the flies will eat much more food. So these clocks seem to suppress the desire for food at certain times of day."

Hardin notes that there are obvious parallels that could be drawn comparing the desire for food by the fruit flies and the human desire for food.

"It's long been established that as humans, we have clocks, too," he adds.

"If clocks in our taste-sensing cells also control when and how much we eat, it could greatly impact weight gain. Understanding how these clocks control eating could potentially lead to ways to combat obesity."

Obesity is one of the major threats to health worldwide, especially in the United States, where the number of obese persons has skyrocketed in recent years.

According to the American Medical Association, about one-third of all Americans are now classified as being obese, and obesity rates have soared 60 percent in the last 20 years. Obesity leads to a number of ailments, including heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers, diabetes and others. About 33 percent of all U.S. children are considered overweight or obese, a figure that has risen steadily in recent years, and in an average year, there are more than 300,000-obesity related deaths in the U.S.

"By looking closely at factors that control Drosophila's desire to eat, we can draw comparisons to human eating behaviors," Hardin says.

"If we could adjust the key internal clocks, we might be able to control food consumption and, of course, that would be a big step in the fight against obesity."
'/>"/>

Contact: Keith Randall
keith-randall@tamu.edu
979-845-4644
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Explorers Bounty Puffed Fruit Snacks Helping Parents Battle Summer Obesity
2. The buzz on fruit flies: New role in the search for addiction treatments
3. Latest epidemic? High cholesterol, obesity in fruit flies
4. Not Getting Enough Fruits and Vegetables? Think Frozen! Antioxidant-rich Frozen Wild Blueberries are Convenient and Just As Nutritious As Fresh
5. New Squeezable Whole Fruit Sorbets in Single-Serve Tubes an Instant Hit
6. Fruit juices contain more vitamin C than their labels indicate
7. Candy and Fruit Flavored Cigarettes Now Illegal in United States; Step is First Under New Tobacco Law
8. Bon Appetit Management Companys Healthcare Plan: Eat More Local Fruits and Vegetables
9. Fruit Even Healthier Than Thought: Study
10. Watson Pharmaceuticals Receives FDA Approval for Fruit and Cinnamon Flavored Coated Nicotine Gums
11. Beverages Holdings, LLC Acquires Bossa Nova: The Superfruit Company
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Shark Finds and Kevin Harrington, and the Product Managers ... , GRIP-DRY is a newly patented product that has solved some of the basic problems ... and early morning dew or right after a rain shower, might understand the struggle of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... CURE Media Group , the nation’s ... Multiple Myeloma Heroes Awards event , which will annually honor individuals making heroic ... with MM. The MM Heroes Awards nomination process is officially open through ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Brenntag Specialties, Inc.(BSI) , ... Food & Beverage and Dietary Supplement market segments across the ... USA geographies east of the Rocky Mountains since 2012. Consistent performance in ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Stephanie Hebert Insurance Agency, serving families ... new charity campaign. As part of their ongoing community involvement program, funds are ... that children deserve a voice, and in the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... A man who has struggled ... of Freedom Laser Therapy , was determined to find solutions to his problems – ... of Inventors Digest is ready to introduce his breakthrough inventions to the world ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 CBG ... the PW Series Solvent Recycling Systems, specifically designed ... full integration with new and existing vapor degreasers, ... produces consistently-fresh solvent through continuous recycling and recovers ... --> --> Precision parts ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016 --> ... "Ablation Technologies Market by Product (Radiofrequency, Ultrasound, Irreversible Electroporation, ... Surgery, Ophthalmology, Gynecology) - Global Forecasts to 2020", published ... the forecast period of 2015 to 2020. The market ... CAGR of 10.5% from 2015 to 2020. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... EAST NORRITON, Pa. , Feb. 8, 2016 ... acquisition of November Research Group (NRG),s pharmacovigilance ... of pharmacovigilance system-related consulting services and an Oracle ... regulatory compliance services to Life Sciences companies. ... acquisition strengthens and expands HighPoint,s life sciences capabilities ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: