It's the ultimate goal of much weight loss research: A pill that cures obesity.
Researchers say they've taken another step toward a simple pill that tricks the brain into thinking the stomach is full.
A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that two gut hormones -- peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) -- appear to reduce appetite.
"The central dogma is we need to eat less, but that doesn't work so well,"
said senior author Dr. Waljit Dhillo, a Professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism and Consultant Endocrinologist at Imperial College London.
"Understanding how the brain makes us feel hungry and full is an important issue for therapy."
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to compare brain activity when volunteers of a healthy weight were shown images of tasty food at different times: after a meal, and after taking the two hormones on an empty stomach. In both cases, there was very little activity in the areas of the brain known to control appetite.
"Participants had eaten no breakfast, but the pattern of their brain activity looked as if they had," Dhillo said. "Their brain was tricked and they subsequently ate less of a buffet meal."