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EASD: Thorough Chewing Raises Hormones Regulating Food Intake

Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thorough chewing stimulates the release of 2 intestinal peptides that reduce appetite and food intake in obese individuals, according to the results of a study.
M. Saito and researchers from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Medicine at Ohu University in Fukushima, Japan, report that their study is the first to show that thorough chewing stimulates postprandial increases of glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and peptide YY (PYY), both of which are secreted by intestinal L cells.

Plasma levels of both hormones normally rise after a meal. In addition to reducing food intake, GLP-1 also stimulates glucose-dependent insulin secretion. The 2 hormones have been implicated in the control of plasma glucose, triglyceride levels, and body weight.

The researchers enrolled 9 obese nondiabetic subjects with a mean age of 40.7 years. Their body mass index (BMI) was above 25 kg/m2 (mean BMI, 27.2 kg/m2) -- which is considered obese by Japanese standards. The mean fasting plasma glucose level was 99 mg/dL.

5 times
4.6 pmol/L

16.9 pmol/L

30 times
5.1 pmol/L

29.3 pmol/L

Peptide YY
5 times
35.8 pg/mL
41.3 pg/mL
30 times
35.7 pg/mL
65.9 pg/mL

After a 12-hour fast, subjects consumed a test meal in the early morning over a 20-minute period, chewing each mouthful 5 times. On another day, they chewed 30 times. The meal consisted of bread, margarine, a boiled egg, steamed vegetables, a banana, and milk. Plasma levels of GLP-1 and PYY were measured before and 1 hour after the meal.

The researchers report that the postprandial plasma levels of both hormones were statistically significantly higher after chewing 30 times than after chewing 5 times. In addition, plasma GLP-1 levels were significantly higher after the meal than before it for both chewing regimens. The researchers suggest that thorough chewing of food might have a clinically meaningful effect for obese individuals.

Source:, European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 47th Annual Meeting: Abstract 17. Presented September 13, 2011.

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