Stephen Bloom

British scientists find protein that tells brain it's time to stop eating Substance offers promise in treating human obesity

Scientists have found a protein that acts immediately to tell the brain when it is time for the body to stop eating. Rats that received injections of the protein as they nibbled food pellets suddenly appeared satiated and lethargic, as if they had eaten a rodent's equivalent of a big Thanksgiving dinner, researchers said.

It is almost certain that humans have this protein, GLP-1, glucagon-like factor-1, in their brains, the researchers said, since it has been found in identical form in every vertebrate species looked at thus far, from fish to mammals.

The discovery of the protein's role in suppressing appetite comes after the discovery last summer of leptin, a hormone that...