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Scientists Figure Out Why A Protein Meal Leaves People Feeling Fuller

July 5, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
French scientists report that they now understand the back-and-forth signaling loop between the brain and gut that generates a feeling of fullness after eating a high-protein meal. Stimulating certain receptors (mu-opioid) on the major blood vessel in the gut enhances food intake, while blocking them suppresses intake. Peptides produced by digestion of dietary proteins block the receptors, curbing appetite. The researchers say that this finding not only explains why people feel fuller after a high-protein meal, it paves the way for new approaches to the treatment or prevention of obesity.
Duraffourd et al., "Mu-Opioid Receptors and Dietary Protein Stimulate a Gut-Brain Neural Circuitry Limiting Food Intake", Cell, July 05, 2012, © Elsevier Inc.
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