Researchers have investigated the effects of a hormone named Lipocalin-2 and hypothesize that the naturally occurring hormone could be used as an effective HRT Treatment for overeating and obesity. Many people that are overweight or obese struggle with their weight because their bodies do not sufficiently trigger fullness. Medical investigators are hopeful that LCN2 Therapy could help keep appetites under control and encourage improved weight loss results.
LCN2 has been studied in rodents for years, and human research is on the upswing. This hormone is produced by mice and primates (including humans) and is primarily secreted from bone cells. LCN2 has no effect on metabolism but does appear to limit appetite. This means that LCN2 activity promotes fullness and reduces the consumption of calories without the body slowing metabolism in response. LCN2 signals feelings of fullness by acting on target cells in the hypothalamus.
Researcher Peristera-Ioanna Petropoulou led a study investigating the potential therapeutic effects of LCN2 for overweight/obese individuals. The goal was to prove that LCN2 Treatments could sufficiently pass the blood-brain barrier and effectively reduce appetite in patients. The study was conducted by scientists representing the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Correlation Between Low LCN2 Levels and Obesity
First, Investigators examined the results of four prior studies conducted in both Europe and the United States. These studies divided participants into Obese, Overweight, and Normal categories. All subjected fasted for one night and had their LCN2 Levels evaluated both before and after a meal.
Researchers discovered that individuals in the Normal category experienced an increase in LCN2 while those that were obese or overweight experienced suppression of LCN2. Participants were categorized as Nonresponders of Responders based on their LCN2 results. Responders experienced an increase in LCN2 activity resulting from their meal.
Nonresponding participants were more likely to show signs of metabolic disease than their counterparts, with symptoms including elevated blood sugar, higher blood pressure, wider waist, and increased BMI. Patients that successfully lost weight resulting from gastric bypass were found to experience recovery from LCN2 resistance. After surgery and weight loss, the patients experienced normalized LCN2 activity.
Researchers Investigate Effects of LCN2 Treatment on Primates
Investigators conducted animal research in addition to data analysis of human studies. First, they verified the ability of LCN2 to cross the blood-brain barrier. Afterward, they gave monkeys controlled doses of LCN2 for seven days. The monkeys were divided into experimental and control categories. One group of monkeys received LCN2 Injections. The second group received placebo injections of saline.
After a week, the monkeys that were given LCN2 ate 28% less food than their baseline appetite, which was 21% less than the monkeys in the control group. After a single week of LCN2 injections, the experimental primates experienced a measurable reduction in blood fat, body fat, and body weight.
Co-author Stavroula Kousteni believes that this research will make an investigation of LCN2 Treatment in humans possible. It's apparent that LCN2 injections effectively act on the hypothalamus without danger of toxicity. It's also clear that LCN2 suppresses appetite. In the future, LCN2 Therapy could be a useful tool to combat obesity in patients struggling to lose weight due to physiological barriers.
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