Last update: February 1, 2023 09:45 IST
A recent study found that junk food can alter neural pathways in the brain, reducing your ability to regulate your caloric intake. According to researchers, the mechanism by which fatty foods stimulate neural activity may lead not only to overeating but also to obesity.
A new study published in the Journal of Physiology shows that junk food reduces the brain’s ability to regulate caloric intake by altering neural pathways, and over the long term can disrupt appetite, leading to overeating and weight gain. suggesting that it is possible.
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University of Medicine in the United States came to this conclusion after conducting a study in which rats were fed a high-fat, high-calorie diet for 14 days. They observed that rat astrocytes (cells in the brain that regulate neuronal function, including pathways between the brain and the gut) became desensitized by continued fat consumption. , acts as an intermediary between the brain and stomach, sending signals to chemical messengers that determine how the stomach works. However, after 14 days, the researchers found that the rats’ astrocyte activity decreased, leading to decreased digestion and appetite.
“Caloric intake appears to be regulated by astrocytes in the short term. Short-term exposure (3–5 days) to a high-fat/high-calorie diet has the greatest impact on astrocytes, causing gastric distress. It was found to trigger normal signaling pathways to regulate.Over time, astrocytes appear to become desensitized to high-fat foods. After 14 days of eating, the astrocytes seem to become unresponsive and the brain’s ability to regulate caloric intake appears to be lost, which interferes with signaling to the stomach and slows down how it empties,” the lead study said. Author Dr Kirsten Browning explained in a press release.
Normally, the brain has the ability to adapt to respond to what is ingested, reducing the amount of food consumed to balance calorie intake. It reacts first when food is ingested. Their activation causes the release of gliotransmitters, chemicals that excite nerve cells and stimulate neurons that activate normal signaling pathways to control gastric function. , after food has passed through the digestive system, the stomach contracts to fill and empty. Over time, chemical signaling cells weaken, slowing digestion. The stomach no longer fills and empties properly.
According to Dr. Kirsteen Browning, it is still unclear whether decreased astrocyte activity is a cause or a consequence of binge eating. “It is not yet known whether the loss of astrocyte activity and signaling machinery is responsible for overeating, or whether it occurs in response to overeating. We would like to know if we can reactivate the ability. If this is the case, it may lead to interventions to restore calorie regulation in humans.
Nearly two-thirds of adults worldwide are overweight or obese, according to a study published in the journal BMJ Global Health in September 2022. Researchers estimate that three to four of her adults will be affected by 2060.
Following the rat study, American researchers plan to further investigate the effects of fatty foods on the brain. research needs to be done. If so, additional testing will be needed to assess whether the mechanism can be safely targeted without interfering with other neural pathways.
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(This article is not edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)