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No-calorie substitute for flour.

New sugar may help fat, thin alike

Ongoing research at the Monell Chemical Senses Center inPhiladelphia, a nonprofit basic-research laboratory affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, has been pointing to the liver as a key organ involved in regulating satiety. Organic chemists Michael DiNovi and Robert Rafka were asked to test the underlying hypothesis: that the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats sends out a feedback signal that works to suppress appetite. Results of their new study, involving rats, shore up the hypothesis and point toward a possible noncaloric dietary aid--a sweetener that could help the fat lose weight and the thin gain it.

In the normal metabolism of carbohydrates (includingsugars), glucose is converted to fructose, which is then broken down further. The Monell chemists theorized that feeding a synthetic analog of fructose--one that could not be broken down--would block any feedback mechanism involving the liver. So they fed rats such an analog--200 milligrams of 2,5-anhydro-D-mannitol per kilogram of body weight--just before their normal, nighttime feeding period. And the rats indeed adjusted their diet, cutting food intake 20 to 25 percent. Larger doses curbed appetite even more. However, when the sugar was fed prior to their daytime rest period, it increased their snacking by 150 to 300 percent.

If this works similarly in humans, DiNovi says, it might--through proper timing--help those who eat too much, or those who eat too little, including the elderly and patients prescribed drugs that affect appetite. However, he notes, human results are not likely to be so dramatic since people, unlike rats, eat for additional reasons besides hunger.
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Title Annotation:fluffy cellulose
Author:Raloff, Janet
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 18, 1987
Words:263
Previous Article:Making drugs stick to your stomach.
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