The Liver Prepares for Changes in Metabolism at the Sight of Food

When hungry mice are exposed to the sight and smell of food without eating it, their liver mitochondria undergo rapid adaptations. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research demonstrate this in a fascinating study. The activation of specific nerve cells in the brain triggers this adjustment, which is observable within minutes. Such activation prompts changes in liver mitochondria to prepare for alterations in sugar metabolism. Published in Science, these findings suggest potential avenues for type 2 diabetes treatment. The study reveals that merely sensing food is adequate to influence liver mitochondria. A novel phosphorylation mediates the reaction in a mitochondrial protein that affects insulin sensitivity. Activation of POMC neurons, prompted by food cues, orchestrates liver readiness even in the absence of food intake, highlighting the intricate relationship between sensory perception, mitochondrial adaptation, and insulin sensitivity, crucial for understanding and addressing type 2 diabetes mellitus.


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Taylor Marks
Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and professionally trained chef from The Institute of Culinary Education. Her passions include the latest research in health science, culinary arts, holistic wellness, and guiding others towards feeling their best.