US scientists find appetite-suppressing hormone

Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in California have discovered a hormone, which they dubbed obestatin, that suppresses appetite and produces weight loss in rats.

Interestingly, the hormone is derived from the same gene that gives rise to ghrelin, a well-known appetite-inducing hormone.

Ghrelin is derived from a precursor or "pro-hormone" called proghrelin, according to the report in the research journal Science.

However, research predicted that ghrelin was not the only protein to come from proghrelin. Dr. Aaron J. W. Hsueh and colleagues confirmed this when they isolated obestatin from the stomachs of rats.

Obestatin, they found, had the opposite effect of ghrelin, suppressing food intake, inhibiting gastrointestinal contractions, and decreasing &to=' target=_blank>body-weight gain in rats. In a statement, Dr. Hsueh said it was a "big surprise" to discover this "anti-ghrelin" hormone, informs

"Obese patients shouldn't get their hopes up yet," Tschop said.

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