FGF21 Is a Sugar-Induced Hormone Associated with Sweet Intake and Preference in Humans

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The liking and selective ingestion of palatable
foods—including sweets—is biologically controlled,
and dysfunction of this regulation may promote unhealthy
eating, obesity, and disease. The hepatokine
fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) reduces sweet
consumption in rodents and primates, whereas
knockout of Fgf21 increases sugar consumption in
mice. To investigate the relevance of these findings
in humans, we genotyped variants in the FGF21 locus
in participants from the Danish Inter99 cohort
(n = 6,514) and examined their relationship with a
detailed range of food and ingestive behaviors. This
revealed statistically significant associations between
FGF21 rs838133 and increased consumption
of candy, as well as nominal associations with
increased alcohol intake and daily smoking. Moreover,
in a separate clinical study, plasma FGF21
levels increased acutely after oral sucrose ingestion
and were elevated in fasted sweet-disliking individuals.
These data suggest the liver may secrete
hormones that influence eating behavior.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1045-1053
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 177184338