Despite greater health education, obesity remains one of the greatest health challenges currently facing the world. The prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents and the rising rates of prediabetes and diabetes are of particular concern. A deep understanding of regulatory pathways and development of new anti-obesity drugs with increased efficacy and safety are of utmost necessity. The 2 major biological players in the regulation of food intake are the gut and the brain as peptides released from the gut in response to meals convey information about the energy needs to brain centers of energy homeostasis. There is evidence that gut hormones not only pass the blood-brain barrier and bind to receptors located in different brain areas relevant for body weight regulation, but some are also expressed in the brain as part of hedonic and homeostatic pathways. Regarding obesity interventions, the only truly effective treatment for obesity is bariatric surgery, the long-term benefits of which may actually involve increased activity of gut hormones including peptide YY3-36 and glucagon-like peptide 1. This review discusses critical gut-hormones involved in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis and their effects on peripheral tissues versus central nervous system actions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems