The roles of salivary secretion, brain-gut peptides, and oral hygiene in obesity

Hirotaka Ueda, Takakazu Yagi, Haruka Amitani, Akihiro Asakawa, Satoshi Ikeda, Shouichi Miyawaki, Akio Inui

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity has a prevalence of 15-30% among European and American populations. It is an incurable chronic disease associated with considerable mortality and co-morbidity. The co-morbidity risk can be reduced substantially by a moderate weight loss of 5-15%. Notably, additional weight gain exacerbates the morbidity of any concurrent disease. Obesity is also recognized as the basis for metabolic syndrome. Recent research has shown that adipocytes secrete various hormones and cytokines that contribute to obesity. Leptin is an adipostatic hormone that acts on receptors in the hypothalamus to suppress food intake and increase energy consumption. Reduced sensitivity to this molecule can trigger the onset of obesity. Neuropeptides such as leptin also affect salivary secretion. Various neuropeptides have been identified in saliva; the associated receptors are located in the salivary glands or in the nerves innervating the salivary glands. Obesity is associated with hyposalivation and thereby related to several aspects of oral health, such as caries and periodontitis. Hyposalivation is a severe morbidity that can lead to a precipitous decline in oral hygiene, which further leads to multifocal dental caries and periodontitis, or even cardiac disorders. In this article, we review the relationship between salivary secretion and neuropeptides known to play a role in obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e321-e329
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Leptin
  • Neuropeptide
  • Obesity
  • Oral disease
  • Salivary secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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