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How exercise may affect gut hormones, weight loss

As researchers work to decipher the complex picture of weight loss and how diet and exercise influence it, they are gaining new insights into the stomach-brain connection. Researchers believe hormones in the gut, which communicate with the brain, may be a key factor, but are still investigating how hormonal changes in the gut may regulate weight.

One piece of the puzzle may involve the effects of exercise on levels of gut hormones released before and after meals, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. According to a release:

Gut hormones are released before and after a meal to initiate and terminate food intake. The authors measured gut hormone release after a palatable tasty meal before and after rats exercised in running wheels. In rats with a lot of running wheel experience, consuming a tasty meal led to increased blood levels of an inhibitory feeding hormone, amylin. After the meal, the same rats showed a more rapid rebound of a stimulatory feeding hormone, ghrelin. The authors also demonstrated that compared to sedentary control rats, exercise-experienced rats decrease their food intake more robustly after treatment with CCK, a gut hormone that limits meal size.

The work is particularly interesting in light of previous studies linking the colony of microbes in the gut to weight gain, elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Previously: Study shows intestinal microbes may fall into three distinct categories, The future of probiotics and How physical activity influences health
Photo by: Denis Todorut

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