Tuesday September 17, 2019

Study Identifies Brain Circuits That Cause Fatty Food Craving

Several behavioural studies have demonstrated that denying certain foods while on a diet causes increased craving and motivation for that food. 

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fatty food
Study Identifies Brain Circuits That Cause Fatty Food Craving

Do you feel the urge to binge on golden hot chips, cheesy pizza, crispy chicken, heartwarming hamburgers, all when on a diet? Researchers have identified new brain circuits that may act as a brake on binge eating and junk food craving.

In the study, led by a team from the University of Texas at Galveston on rats who had spent a month eating a low-fat diet, the team successfully inhibited the fatty food seeking behaviours.

“Craving for foods high in fat — this includes many junk foods — is an important part of obesity and binge eating,” said Jonathan Hommel, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas in the US.

Cholesterol -- a molecule normally linked with cardiovascular diseases -- may also play an important role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease, researchers have found.
Junk Food is highly rich in Cholesterol, pixabay

“When trying to lose weight people often strive to avoid fatty foods, which ironically increases motivation and craving for these foods and can lead to overeating. Even worse, the longer someone abstains from fatty foods, the greater the cravings,” Hommel added.

Several behavioural studies have demonstrated that denying certain foods while on a diet causes increased craving and motivation for that food.

However, the brain mechanisms that lead to this type of overeating are not known.

For the study, published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research, half of the rats underwent a surgical procedure that blocked the effects of a brain chemical called neuromedin U receptor 2 within a region of the brain that regulates food intake.

When trying to lose weight people often strive to avoid fatty foods, which ironically increases motivation and craving for these foods and can lead to overeating. E    Pixabay
 Researchers have identified new brain circuits that may act as a brake on binge eating and junk food craving. Pixabay

The other half of the rats did not receive this treatment.

Also Read: Avoid High Calories just By Smelling Such Food For Longer Than Two Minutes
After surgical recovery, the rats who had been treated did not work nearly as hard for fatty treats as their unaltered counterparts did.

“While our findings are only the first step in a long process from the scientific lab to the doctor’s office, we are planning to develop new drugs to help curb those cravings,” Hommel said. (IANS)

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Study: Intake of Dietary Supplements May do More Harm than Benefit

The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet

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vitamin
Vitamin A is known to be essential for the healthy growth and maturation of skin cells but prior studies on its effectiveness in reducing skin cancer risk have shown mixed results. Pixabay

Researchers have found that intake of some vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements may not benefit the heart and, in some cases, may even prove to be injurious.

According to the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, supplements combining calcium and vitamin D may be linked to a slightly increased stroke risk. However, there was no evidence that calcium or vitamin D taken alone had any health risks or benefits.

“Our analysis carries a simple message that although there may be some evidence that a few interventions have an impact on death and cardiovascular health, the vast majority of multivitamins, minerals and different types of diets had no measurable effect on survival or cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” said study lead author Safi U. Khan, Assistant Professor at the West Virginia University.

For the study, the researchers used data from 277 randomised clinical trials that evaluated 16 vitamins or other supplements and eight diets for their association with mortality or heart conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

dietary supplements
“People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet, because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don’t need to take supplements,” Michos said. Wikimedia Commons

They included data gathered on 992,129 research participants worldwide. The analysis showed possible health benefits only from a low-salt diet, omega-3 fatty acid supplements and possibly folic acid supplements for some people.

“The panacea or magic bullet that people keep searching for in dietary supplements isn’t there,” said senior author of the study Erin Michos from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US.

“People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet, because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don’t need to take supplements,” Michos said.

According to Abhishek Singh, Consultant Cardiologist at Columbia Asia Hospital in Ghaziabad, dietary supplements do not have a measurably positive impact on cardiac health.

dietary supplements
The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet. Pixabay

“It’s more important to follow a healthy dietary regimen and avoid foods that are bad for the heart. Trans fatty acids are harmful and have to be curtailed. Refined sugars and simple carbohydrates are to be kept at a minimum,” Singh told IANS.

The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet. They are rich in vitamin K and dietary nitrates, which help protect the arteries and reduce blood pressure, he said.

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“Studies like this raise concerns about harm from calcium and Vitamin D supplement use. As far as Vitamin D supplements (without calcium) are concerned, there has been no evidence on whether it has any impact on cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” Anupama Singh, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Vimhans Nayati Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi, told IANS.

“The quality of the evidence base of these various nutritional supplements and dietary interventions still needs to be evaluated to ascertain the effectiveness of the study,” she added. (IANS)