Have you ever wondered how is it possible for your body to signal that you are full during a meal? The researchers from Germany and Finland have found out that brown fat and your gut hormone interacts with each other to convey the message to your body about the fullness of your stomach during the meal. This gut hormone is known as secretin.
The study got published on 15 November in the journal ‘Cell’, it furthers enhances the understanding of the unprecedented function of brown adipose tissue (BAT). This type of body fat is used by the body to keep the animal warm in cold temperatures upon taking the food.
“We demonstrate a connection between the gut, the brain, and brown tissue, uncovering a previously unknown facet of the complex regulatory system controlling energy balance,” says lead author Martin Klingenspor, chair of molecular nutritional medicine at the Technical University of Munich.
“The view of brown fat as a mere heater organ must be revised, and more attention needs to be directed towards its function in the control of hunger and satiation.”
While you are having the meal, the signals are encoded by the gut hormone and go to the brain by blood or through the nerves which are stimulated in the small intestine. It was 1902 when the gut hormone secretin was first identified. Secretin is a hormone which activates the pancreas to release the bicarbonate ions which will help the small intestine to maintain the PH by neutralizing the acid and digesting macronutrients.
The work by Klingenspor and his colleagues found out that secretin plays an underrated role in satiation. Klingenspor in his study injected the mice with the gut hormone secretin which decreased the appetite. Not only this but secretin also so-called doubled the amount of heat produced by brown fat.
While on the other hand the mice who were also injected with the hormone but the brown fat was not activated did not face any appetite suppression. By this then researchers were able to conclude that it is the interaction between secretin and brown fat which makes the person feel full.
Along with observing the function of secretin on appetite in mice the researchers also measured secretin levels in 17 people. In a study carried out in Finland, oxygen used by the brown fat and intake of fatty acids were measured after a long night fast and 30 to 40 minutes after the meal. The researchers observed that people who had a high level of secretin in their blood interacted well with the active brown fat in the body.
According to Klingenspor, we need more research in order to further understand this connection and use this link for stimulating the secretin production by some foods in order to reduce the appetite.
“Any stimulus that activates brown fat thermogenesis could potentially induce satiation,” he says. “Secretin secretion is sensitive to nutrients, so eating the right starter could be helpful in promoting satiation and result in reduced meal size and caloric intake.”
Klingenspor highly believes on the point that brown fat plays an important function in suppressing hunger and can be used as an effective means to treat obesity. He says, the interaction between the two promises that nutritional and pharmacological will have a great intervention against obesity and diseases related to it.