The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - May 12

An Italian researcher working in the United States has isolated the body's energy sensor that tells the brain when it is time to stop eating. The sensor, an enzyme called mTOR, sends out a signal that the body has replenished its energy supply and doesn't need any more food, according to Daniela Cota of Cincinnati University's Obesity Research Center.

The enzyme reacts to micro-nutrients such as the amino-acid leucine, raising the hypothesis that a leucin-rich diet could help people who never feel full enough, Cota told the prestigious US journal Science. "We have shown that mTOR is activated in nerve circuits that are well known for their role in regulating energy needs," said Cota, 31, who earned a medical degree in Bologna before leaving for the States.