There may be a reason you want that cookie—and a second cookie, and a third cookie, and you get the idea. But it has less to do with the devil on your shoulder than the hormones in your body, and one hormone in particular is tied to your sweet tooth.
In an effort to understand the science behind sugar cravings, researchers from the University of Iowa recently discovered that a hormone generated in the liver called FGF21 (short for fibroblast growth factor 21) plays a key role in regulating sugar intake—one that may help people get their sweet tooth under control by sending a message to the brain to that halts the yearning for sugary foods.
While research is still in the early stages, studies using mice have been promising. In the future, scientists hope FGF21 may one day help people with diabetes and obesity by enabling them to reduce their daily sugar intake.