If a dieter decreases their calories, they also decrease their brain cells’ calories. This process has recently been researched and linked to the ultimate demise of most diets. As the hungry brain cells signal the body of that hunger, appetite increases, and metabolism slows. But what if the brain couldn’t send out those signals? That’s a whole new arena we’ve never been to before.
Recently, researchers have created mice whose brains can not send out hunger signals or appetite-increasing proteins. These mice were found to be leaner and ate less even after they were starved. It’s believed that these results would apply to humans since mice are often used as human biological models.
In the study the scientist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York were able to isolate the appetite-sensing neurons in the mice. These neurons are the culprits for increasing autophagy, a process where cells break down their used parts. When the breakdown of cells is increased, appetite-inducing proteins are released. Ultimately, the brain is told it’s time to eat due to these proteins.
When the researchers turned this process in the mice, their appetite-inducing proteins stayed low and even in times of starvation, the hunger signals stopped. Compared to normal mice, the mutant mice were 10 percent leaner, capable of burning more energy, and were more active. One of the most revealing facts was that these mice still ate less even after food was withheld to the point of starvation.
Since it’s concluded that our brain is really our biggest hurdle when, dieting, these scientists believe that if this process works the same way in humans the problem of obesity could be solved. By by-passing the cellular break down and interrupting the neural pathway, scientists could change eating habits for good.
It’s hard to swallow the idea that our brains may need to be tampered with in order to solve the obesity crisis, but it’s possible early weight loss surgery was viewed in this light as well. Obviously there’s much research to be done before a human can undergo this process, but who knows? This may be the next option for those who think their brains are ruining their chance at being at a healthy weight.