According to a new study, obese individuals may not have the same feelings of fullness after a meal due to a disruption in the release of a hormone called glucagon. Here we explore the implications of these findings.
The study, which was published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, was a prospective study that incorporated double-blind procedures and compared placebo-control groups. In total, 37 participants took part. Of those, 11 were diagnosed as obese, 11 were diagnosed as type 1 diabetics and 13 were considered lean and otherwise healthy participants. Each of these groups was further split into two groups that received either the treatment (glucagon) or the placebo. The key findings indicated that participants that had type 1 diabetes or were lean felt more satiated if they were in the treatment group, whereas this was not the case for obese individuals who received glucagon. Instead, both groups of obese participants, and the control groups that had type 1 diabetes or were lean felt less satiated after receiving a placebo. Based on this, the researchers suggested that further research should consider whether the release of glucagon could be dysregulated in obese patients, which in turn can affect how satiated a person feels.
There are many aspects of the current study that are promising. We were impressed by how highly controlled the study appeared to be. For example, the measures of how full the participants felt and whether ghrelin (a hormone related to glucagon) increased appeared very reliable. In addition, it is commendable that the study utilised a double blind design, and that the comparison between type 1 diabetes and obesity was explored in the findings and helped exclude explanations relating to glucagon and insulin. Yet, it is understandable that it was not perfect and that more research including larger samples would be needed.
We would be particularly keen to see how future findings would apply to a clinical setting for treatment of obesity. For instance, on a rudimentary level it could be valuable to see whether the use of glucagon in treatment would help or hinder planning of portion sizes. Similarly, it would be valuable to know when the threshold is reached for the potential dysregulation to occur.
Today, answers to these questions remain unknown. However, the role glucagon appears to play in how full individuals feel, especially when it comes to obese individuals and individuals with diabetes is currently being investigated. It is our hope that future studies clarifying whether this is an avenue worth considering for developing treatments for the millions of patients that currently suffer from obesity, diabetes or both.
If you are interested in getting regular obesity related news then we recommend this website that is devoted to this subject – www.obesitycare.co.uk