A newly identified hormone produced in the liver has the ability to switch off sugar cravings.
So far, research conducted on mice and monkeys showed that the hormone, called FGF21 communicates with the brain, telling it to avoid seeking out sweet foods. In recent years a number of hormones have been identified that drive hunger by communicating with your brain, telling you to consume more food. Interestingly this is the first hormone identified that is specifically involved in sugar cravings.
Tests conducted on monkeys showed that a single dose of this hormone caused the monkeys to lose interest in sugar sweetened water almost immediately. The hormone also improves insulin sensitivity, helping to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes or improving blood sugar control in those who are diabetic. Researchers are now trying to come up with a drug that mimics the action of this hormone, to help people who are overweight or battling with sugar cravings.
A new drug is probably a long way off, and there’s a good chance it will be very expensive and come with some serious side effects. This research just reinforces the importance of a healthy liver for healthy weight and blood sugar control. I have always found that people with a fatty liver, an inflamed liver or a sluggish liver have a harder time staying away from sugar and maintaining a healthy diet. Your liver is supposed to help regulate your blood sugar level and people with an unhealthy liver are more prone to hypoglycaemia. This can cause strong, overwhelming sugar cravings that make it impossible to stick to a healthy diet long term.
Hypoglycemia is also likely to cause intense hunger, so that a person ends up eating more than their body requires, making weight loss difficult.
If you focus on improving the health of your liver you will have better blood sugar control, better energy and a better mood. All of those factors make it much easier to eat well, exercise regularly and generally take good care of yourself. For free detailed information on how to improve the health of your liver see here.
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