People who try to deprive themselves of food also deprive their brains out of the needed calorie to function properly. A new study reveals that the hungry brain cells are releasing a signal that the body needs to be feed, thus causing hunger for the individual. It is already a known fact that starving one’s self of the food that we need on a daily basis would only end on food cravings, which leads to a failed diet plan.
The researchers breeds mice with brain cells that do not have to the ability to send such signal to the body. The breed mice were leaner than other mice as they tend to eat less.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York study researcher, Rajat Singh says they have generated mice that lack the process in their neurons. They found out that the mice does not eat more than what should be eaten even if it is starving.
The results can be applied to humans since the mice serves as the biological replica of man. Further research would be needed before it could be tested on human beings.
Autophagy or self-eating is the feeling of hunger produced by the neurons. The cells try to break down the used cell parts so that it could be recycled and use the energy stored in the cells.
The majority of brain cells keep the autophagy at a fixed level that the cells do not need to respond to starvation. Scientist says the appetite sensing neurons are different from other cells. To date, it is the only known brain cells capable of ramping up autophagy in times of hunger.
The increased breakdown affects the cellular levels of the compound known as fatty acids. As the level of fatty acids increases, a signal sends the message to the brain-cells to discharge the appetite-inducing protein – agouti-related peptide (AgRP).
Singh noted that these neurons are capable of sensing nutrients in the body and tells the body when it is time to eat. It is the process that makes the person craves for food.
As autophagy got turned off in the mice, AgRP halt at a low level, the same goes with the levels of free fatty acids. Such changes blocked the signal whenever hunger occurs. After comparison, the researchers found out that the mutant mice were 10 percent leaner than the normal mice. Also, the ability to burn more energy got developed.