Researchers from the University of Rouen in France conducted the study on mice and rats to show how the proteins injected into the animals act on the brain reducing appetite.

The new evidence coexists with current models of appetite control, which involve hormones from the gut signalling to brain circuits when we are hungry or done eating.

The bacterial proteins - produced by mutualistic E coli after they have been satiated-were found for the first time to influence the release of gut - brain signals as well as activate appetite-regulated neurons in the brain.

The researchers found that after 20 minutes of consuming nutrients and expanding numbers, E coli bacteria from the gut produce different kinds of proteins than they did before their feeding.

The 20 minute mark seemed to coincide with the amount of time it takes for a person to begin feeling full or tired after a meal.

They saw that injection of small doses of the bacterial proteins produced after feeding reduced food intake in both hungry and free-fed rats and mice.

The researchers also found that ClpB, one of the 'full' bacterial proteins, increased firing of neurons that reduce appetite.

The findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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