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How Sweet It Isn't: Hormone Dampens Taste for Sugary Foods

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"So a lack of response to leptin is thought to very strongly contribute to obesity. Perhaps [that] resistance [occurs] at the level of the taste system as well, [and that] may contribute to ... obesity," Elmquist tells WebMD.

Another Boston-based researcher is less sure.

"Many people [have] ... high leptin levels already, and in human studies of the effect of leptin on weight loss, some people lose weight but many people don't," says Andrew Greenberg, MD, director of the program in obesity and metabolism at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University.

Greenberg suggests that although the study's findings are interesting, the exact role of leptin in causing obesity is still unclear. " "Leptin has so many effects; humans who have no leptin, for example, eat lots and lots of food. This may be one piece of the puzzle, but it's probably not a major piece," he tells WebMD.

 

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