A study on the Lac-Phe molecule titled "An exercise-inducible metabolite that suppresses feeding and obesity" has been published in the journal Nature.
Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine, and other institutions have identified an exercise-induced molecule that appears in the blood of mice during exercise. The molecule is a modified amino acid, Lac-Phe, synthesized from lactate and phenylalanine. Lac-Phe was found to suppress food intake by roughly 50%, without affecting their overall energy expenditure or activity.
Lac-Phe also contributed to lowered overall food intake, reduced body weight, primarily due to a reduction in body fat, and improved glucose tolerance when administered over ten days. An enzyme called CNDP2 was also identified, used in the production of Lac-Phe, and was shown to be critical in weight loss from exercise.
"We wanted to understand how exercise works at the molecular level to be able to capture some of its benefits. For example, older or frail people who cannot exercise enough, may one day benefit from taking a medication that can help slow down osteoporosis, heart disease or other conditions," said co-corresponding author Jonathan Long, MD, assistant professor of pathology at Stanford Medicine and an Institute Scholar of Stanford ChEM-H (Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health).
"Our next steps include finding more details about how Lac-Phe mediates its effects in the body, including the brain. Our goal is to learn to modulate this exercise pathway for therapeutic interventions," said co-corresponding author Dr. Yong Xu, professor of pediatrics- nutrition and molecular and cellular biology at Baylor.
You can read more from the study here.