Hormones in concert

The Scientist has a fascinating overview of some of the hormonal mechanisms behind appetite and obesity.

“Upon intensifying insulin treatment, most diabetes patients gained weight and many grew frustrated with the unpredictable glucose swings and constant insulin dose adjustments. Likewise, the vast majority of patients in our obesity clinic saw a relentless regain of their body weight. In the clinical setting, it was not uncommon for doctors to advise their patients to try harder and be more disciplined. After all, with adequate willpower and meticulous tracking of blood sugars and ingested calories, there had to be a way to do better. From a scientific perspective, however, it was quite evident that the root of the problem was far more complex.”

I <3 endocrinology, if only because it speaks to the elegant, frustratingly mysterious complexity of nature. The human body is an intriguingly self-regulating set of systems that work in delicate harmonies. Even if you aren’t partial to pharmacological treatments, this is an interesting read for biochem nerds who like to know the major players.