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Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Mar;67(3 Suppl):513S-518S.

Fuel partitioning and food intake.

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  • 1Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Fuel metabolism generates signals that the brain uses to control food intake. Because the influence of metabolism on eating behavior depends on where and in what way metabolic fuels are utilized, the partitioning of fuels among different tissues and between metabolic pathways has significant effects on food intake. There is substantial evidence that shifts in fat fuel partitioning between oxidation and storage influence food intake, and data indicate that this may also be the case for carbohydrates. Carbohydrate and fat fuel interactions appear to affect eating behavior, and may play a role in the overconsumption of high-fat diets. A mechanism for the control of eating behavior that is sensitive to a stimulus generated at the level of oxidative phosphorylation and ATP production may underlie changes in food intake associated with shifts in fuel partitioning. A model based on such a mechanism provides a framework for understanding changes in food intake under a variety of conditions associated with alterations in energy storage and expenditure, including obesity and cachexia.

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