Hope for Overeaters?

Emma Benney NTRN Health Care

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Article Summary

In the article, Hope for Overeaters? Feeling Full May Have a Chemical ‘Switch,’ published on March 1, 2016 by Sara G. Miller; a new study conducted on mice may suggest that a chemical in the brain may initiate a feeling of fullness. This certain enzyme responds to the hormone leptin. This particular hormone is released by adipose tissue, which further binds to leptin receptors. Leptin indicates the feeling of fullness, and initiates signals throughout the body to let the body know when it has consumed enough food. However, people who gorge on food have high leptin levels and are therefore unable to recognize overeating as a result of desensitized receptors. In this recent study, an enzyme called HDAC5 was discovered to play a position leptin pathway. The mice that were unable to produce HDAC5 were resistant to leptin, causing them to gain weight. Counteracting this finding, mice that produced a surplus of this enzyme did not gain as much weight as anticipated while fed a high-fat diet. Being able to regain the sensitivity of leptin is important in terms of maintaining a healthy weight and overall health.

Article Critique

Sarah G Miller, the author of Hope for Overeaters? Feeling Fulling May Have a Chemical ‘Switch,’ is a staff writer for the site, Live Science, which is one of the larger websites sites explaining science through technology and life. She studied biology at Hamilton College in upstate New York. Although, Miller studied Biology, the website doe not state that she received a degree in Biology. She is also not an expert or apart of the studies conducted within the article. Miller references to the journal, Nature Communications, within her article when discussing the hormone leptin signaling to the body that enough food has been consumed. Nature Communications is an editorially independent journal. The editors within the journal make their own decisions aside from the other Nature journals. This means that Nature Communications will publish articles that show advancements in scientific disciplines even if they lack scientific based research. Not only does this article not provide statistics, but also it is deficient in research findings. This study is misleading as it was conducted on mice and not tested on humans. Therefore, it cannot be established whether the enzyme HDAC5 works the same way in humans as it supposedly does in mice. Miller also references Paul Pfluger within her article while talking about leptin sensitivity. Pfluger was not a researcher in the studies; rather he is a neurobiologist at the Helmholtz Center Munich, a German Research Center for Environmental Health. The article also states that it “remains to be seen whether the enzyme will be a suitable target for fighting obesity in humans" (Hope for Overeaters? Feeling Full May Have a Chemical ‘Switch,' 2015). There is no true evidence within this article that supports these findings. This article was just recently published on March 1, 2016. With the article just being over a month old, it is fairly new study that has ample room for conducted research and improvement to validate these findings.


Miller, S. G. (2016, March 01). Hope for Overeaters? Feeling Full May Have a Chemical 'Switch' Retrieved April 04, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/53900-leptin-enzyme-switch.html