The Gut as an Endocrine Organ: Role in the Regulation of Food Intake and Body Weight

Type Article

Journal Article


A. Melvin; C. W. le Roux; N. G. Docherty

Year of publication



Curr Atheroscler Rep








Obesity and its related complications remain a major threat to public health. Efforts to reduce the prevalence of obesity are of paramount importance in improving population health. Through these efforts, our appreciation of the role of gut-derived hormones in the management of body weight has evolved and manipulation of this system serves as the basis for our most effective obesity interventions. PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: We review current understanding of the enteroendocrine regulation of food intake and body weight, focusing on therapies that have successfully embraced the physiology of this system to enable weight loss. RECENT FINDINGS: In addition to the role of gut hormones in the regulation of energy homeostasis, our understanding of the potential influence of enteroendocrine peptides in food reward pathways is evolving. So too is the role of gut derived hormones on energy expenditure. Gut-derived hormones have the ability to alter feeding behavior. Certain obesity therapies already manipulate this system; however, our evolving understanding of the effects of enteroendocrine signals on hedonic aspects of feeding and energy expenditure may be crucial in identifying future obesity therapies.