A team of Dutch researchers have started to work on smart foods which may help to solve the global obesity crisis. The smart food signals the brain that you have eaten enough thereby reduce the amount of food intake.
They hope that these foods will contain a special chemical that mimics the message our gut sends the brain when it is full.
AdvertisementBy sending the message earlier, the brain can be fooled into not overeating.
"We know nutrients interact with gut cells, which dispatch chemical messengers - hormones- to the brain to signal 'stomach full'," the Daily Mail quoted endocrinologist Jens Holst of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, as telling youris.com.
Scientists are now trying to decode this messaging from our food to gut to brain to fight obesity.
Holst found a small molecule in the gut, called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which acts on parts of the brain that regulate appetite.
He is now involved with a EU funded research project, Full4Health, to try and find out exactly how the gut tells the brain when it is full.
"There is a raft of hormones, which are all satiety hormones, which will tend to help terminate a meal," project coordinator Julian Mercer, obesity scientist at the University of Aberdeen, UK, said.
"We don't know much about which nutrients are involved and whether we can manipulate how food interacts with those signalling systems and how those systems are integrated at different levels in the brain," Mercer said.
The team hopes that their research could lead to making of drugs that mimic the message, and hope to eventually make food that can also contain the messages.
"It would be even better if we could come up with smart food," Mercer said.
Recent research has found that Britain has one of the most sedentary populations on earth, with almost twice the proportion of people defined as 'inactive' as in neighboring France.
The global figures reveal that even the Americans put people of Britain to shame when it comes to exercising.
In the UK, 63.3 percent of the population fails to meet recommended levels of physical activity, increasing their risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
By comparison, 40.5 percent of US citizens are inactive, despite more than 30 percent of them being obese.