After intense endurance training, a molecule is formed in the body that suppresses hunger. This was discovered by researchers from Stanford University. A natural appetite suppressant has been proven in mice, horses and humans.
After intense endurance training, a molecule that suppresses hunger is formed in the body, a team led by researchers from Stanford University found. A natural appetite suppressant has already been proven in humans.
“We all know that exercise is good for you. It’s good for body weight and glucose control,” says study leader Dr. Jonathan Long, Assistant Professor of Pathology. “But we wanted to take a closer look at this concept.” Scientists examined the effects of training on metabolic products.
Racehorses also had this molecule in their blood
After the mice exercised on a treadmill, the researchers looked for increases in certain molecules in their blood — using mass spectrometry. Scientists have come across a molecule with a mass of 236.
Now the researchers wanted to find out if this molecule also appears in other animals. They sent blood samples from racehorses – and there they also found this molecule of mass 236.
A hybrid of lactate and phenylalanine
Support came from another team investigating the effects of sports on humans, which also discovered and already deciphered this molecule: it is a hybrid of two chemical compounds that occur naturally in the human body: lactate and phenylalanine. The researchers named it Lac-Phe.
The study showed that the joining of lactate and phenylalanine is catalyzed by a protein called CNDP2, which has high activity in immune and other cells, including skin cells. During intense training, the body makes more lactate, and CNDP2 then helps make Lac-Phe in the cells. Mice lacking CNDP2 failed to produce Lac-Phe, ate more and gained weight.
Endurance sports act like a natural appetite suppressant
When obese mice were given Lac-Phe, they were less hungry and ate fewer calories. Their food intake dropped by about 30 percent, Long says. This led to reduced body weight, less fat and improved glucose tolerance. Endurance sports, in which Lac-Phe is formed, act like a natural appetite suppressant.
The study was published in the journal Nature. The researchers now want to find out which brain receptors Lac-Phe attaches to in order to curb the feeling of hunger.