Researchers probe workings of hunger pathways

A new imaging probe has highlighted how the human body's hunger pathways operate, illustrating how new therapies could be developed to tame obesity. Rachel Batterham and a team of researchers at University College London took a group of subjects and fed them their favorite foods after 14 hours of fasting. On one occasion they were given an intravenous drip of the peptide YY or PYY, a hormone, and in another period they were given a saline solution. Given earlier research, the team was not surprised that the subjects on the PYY solution ate 25 percent less than they did after receiving the saline solution. The MRIs showed that the PYY solution also lit up the brain's hypothalamus, which controls metabolism, as well as the areas of the brain associated with reward and pleasure. Their earlier work has demonstrated that the obese have lower levels of PYY and release less PYY after eating.

- here's the article from the New Scientist