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[Special] Hormone Regulating Food Intake Discovered

Posted February. 20, 2002 09:26,   


A Hormone, which regulates food intake, was found out, and the development of medicine for obesity and inappetency using the hormone is under study.

Since Dr. Kenji Kangawa of Japanese national cardiac blood vessel lab discovered this hormone named Ghrelin in 1999, over 100 articles about it have published all over the world.

Ghrelin consisting of 28 amino acids was thought as a growth hormone at first, but recently it was discovered that it is produced at stomach and transferred to brain through blood, and make person feel hungry.

The team of Dr. Steven Bloom of Hammersmith hospital in London investigated the change of appetite by injecting Ghrelin and saline solution one after the other to 9 volunteers. As a result, the person injected with Ghrelin had 30 percent more meal.

Previously, the team of professor David Cummins in Washington Univ. in Seattle investigated the change of the Ghrelin density in blood of 10 volunteers for 24 hours, and found out that the density of Ghrelin rises by 7 percent before meal, and falls after the meal.

Prof. Cummins said, "people get weight with a piece of Ritz cracker a day, then imagine how much they would get weight if they eat 30 percent more."

Presently, Japanese scientists are trying to raise the ratio of survival by dosage of Ghrelin to the patients who lose appetite due to operation, Aids, cancer and heart disease. Moreover, scientists expects to find out the medicine that reduces the secretion of Ghrelin and to develop a restrainer of obesity, which has potential market amounting billions dollars.