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Carleton researcher discovers cells that decide when we're full

Discovery could lead to weight loss drugs

Alfonso Abizaid, a Carleton University neuroscientist, is part of a team that has found a way to stimulate the exact hypothalamus cells that receive signals that indicate when we’re full. The researchers suspected that this might be possible after discovering that the appetite suppressant nicotine, the pleasurable ingredient in tobacco, stimulates the same brain region. Smokers tend to gain 10 to 15 pounds on average when they quit, likely due to the fact that their brains are no longer falsely being told that they’ve had enough to eat, Abizaid told the Ottawa Citizen. The researchers, whose article is published today in Science, hope that they can use this discovery to develop a drug to help obese people lose weight.

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