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Hormones and weight loss

Hunger and satiety hormones both rise after weight loss

(Credit: Obesity Action Coalition)
The research team explained that also though noted increases in the levels of both the hunger and satiety hormones after one and two years of sustained weight loss, the boost in hunger hormones seemed to override the increase in satiety hormones

The levels of hormones that control hunger and satiety both rise after weight loss, but individuals may only experience an increase in hunger, according to researcher from the Norwegian University of Sciences and Technology, Trondheim, Norway and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The study, ‘Impact of weight loss achieved through a multidisciplinary intervention on appetite in patients with severe obesity,’ published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, assessed the short- and long-term impact of weight loss achieved by diet and exercise, on appetite in patients with obesity.

The researchers studied 35 (22 females) adults with severe obesity (BMI>40) who participated in a comprehensive weight loss programme by attending five sessions at a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programme over the course of two years. During each three-week residential session, participants learned about interventions to aid weight loss, including eating a balanced, calorie-restricted diet, physical activity, talk therapy and nutrition education. Between programme visits, participants were encouraged to continue with daily exercise and a healthy diet at home.

The research team measured hunger and satiety hormone levels (insulin, active ghrelin (AG), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), peptide YY (PYY) and cholecystokinin (CCK), in the fasting and postprandial states), in the blood after the first four weeks of the trial and again after one and two years of continued weight loss. Investigators also recorded the participants' self-reported feelings of hunger and fullness at each of these intervals.

The researchers report that body weight was significantly reduced and VO2max (ml/kg/min) increased at all time points compared with baseline (3.5, 8.1 and 8.4 % WL and 7, 11 and 8 % increase at week four, one and two years, respectively). Basal hunger and average hunger and desire to eat were significantly increased at one and two years and basal fullness was significantly increased at week four, and average ratings reduced at one year. Average AG and PYY were significantly increased, and insulin reduced, at all time points compared with baseline. Average GLP-1 was reduced at W4 and CCK increased at two years.

The research team explained that also though noted increases in the levels of both the hunger and satiety hormones after one and two years of sustained weight loss, the boost in hunger hormones seemed to override the increase in satiety hormones.

"This information is of importance for patients and health professionals working with this patient group, and strategies should be identified that can help patients deal with increased hunger in the long term," the researchers wrote.

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