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:6/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the ... are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On ... as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle ... honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight ... app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest ... as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are ... Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, ... report to their offering. ... tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume ... surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The Biotechnology industry might ... present great opportunities to investors. Stock-Callers.com assesses the recent ... (NYSE: XON ), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ARNA ), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... receive your complimentary trade alerts at: ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Leading BioSciences Inc., a ... conditions resulting from a breakdown of the mucosal ... Greg Doyle as chief executive officer. Mr. ... management team and board of directors, previously served ... He will provide continued leadership and strategic direction ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: