Bowels control brain: gut hormones and obesity

Biochem Med (Zagreb). 2012;22(3):283-97. doi: 10.11613/bm.2012.032.


Peptide hormones are released from the gastrointestinal tract in response to nutrients and communicate information regarding the current state of energy balance to the brain. These hormones regulate appetite, energy expenditure and glucose homeostasis. They can act either via the circulation at target peripheral tissues, by activation of the vagus nerve or by acting on key brain regions implicated in energy homeostasis such as the hypothalamus and brainstem. This review gives an overview of the main gut hormones implicated in the regulation of food intake and how some of these are being targeted to develop anti obesity treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Appetite / physiology
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Peptide Hormones / metabolism
  • Peptide Hormones / therapeutic use


  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Peptide Hormones