Tuesday December 10, 2019

Your Intestine Tells You When To Stop Eating: Study

The reason why we feel full after eating is because our intestine tells us that we need to stop eating

0
//
Intestine
Your intestine monitors your eating. Pixabay

Your gut houses a distinct brain — extensive web of nerve endings lining your intestine — which tells you when to stop eating and feel sated, researchers have found.

The nerve endings lining your gut plays an important role in controlling how much you eat by monitoring the contents of the stomach and intestine and then sending signals back to the brain that boost or lower your appetite.

Most scientists believe this feedback involves hormone-sensitive nerve endings in the gut that track the nutrients you consume and calculate when you’ve had enough, but no one has yet tracked down the exact type of neurons that convey these signals to the brain.

“Given how central eating is to our lives, it is remarkable that we still don’t understand how our bodies know to stop being hungry when we eat food,” said neuroscientist Zachary Knight, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and associate professor in the Department of Physiology at University of California San Francisco.

One of the challenges to answering this question is that the thousands of sensory nerves involved in collecting sensory information from the stomach and intestine come in many different types, yet all of them transmit messages back to the brain via the same giant bundle, which is called the vagus nerve.

Scientists can either block or stimulate the activity of this nerve bundle and change animals’ appetites, but how to figure out which vagal nerve endings in particular were responsible for the change?

Intestine, eating
A stretched intestine is the reason why we feel full after eating. Pixabay

To resolve this mystery, the team, led by postdoctoral researcher Ling Bai, comprehensively mapped the molecular and anatomical identities of the vagal sensory cell types neurons innervating the stomach and intestine.

This new map, published in the journal Cell, allowed the researchers to selectively stimulate different types of vagal neurons in mice, revealing that intestinal stretch sensors are uniquely able to stop even hungry mice from wanting to eat.

“The vagus nerve is the major neural pathway that transmits information from gut to brain, but the identities and functions of the specific neurons that are sending these signals were still poorly understood,” Bai said.

Using these techniques, Bai and colleagues discovered that mucosal endings actually come in many different varieties — four of which the researchers studied in detail.

Also Read- No Gender Difference In Brain Function: Study

Some of these were mainly found in the stomach and others mainly in different parts of the intestines, with each type specialized to sense a particular combination of nutrient-related hormones.

The findings also suggest a potential explanation for why bariatric surgery — performed to treat extreme obesity by reducing the size of the gut — is so mysteriously effective at promoting long-term appetite and weight reduction. (IANS)

Next Story

Intermittent Fasting Benefits Those at Risk for Diabetes: Study

Time-restricted eating benefits those at risk for diabetes

0
Diabetes
People at risk of developing diabetes should practice intermittent fasting. Pixabay

Researchers have found that people who are at high risk of developing diabetes improved their health when they consumed all of their meals over a span of just 10 hours, or less over a period of 12 weeks.

The study published in the journal cell Metabolism, reported a form of intermittent fasting, called time-restricted eating, improved the health of study participants who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, that increase the risk for adverse health issues, from heart disease and diabetes to stroke.

The researchers from University of California in US, found that when participants restricted their eating to 10 hours or less over a period of 12 weeks, they lost weight, reduced abdominal fat, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol and enjoyed more stable blood sugar and insulin levels.

Diabetes risks
Time-restricted eating can improve the health of those with diabetes. Pixabay

“Time-restricted eating is a simple dietary intervention to incorporate, and we found that participants were able to keep the eating schedule,” said study co-author Satchin Panda from the University of California in US.

“Eating and drinking everything (except water) during a 10-hour window allows your body to rest and restore for 14 hours at night. Your body can also anticipate when you will eat, so it can prepare the body to optimize metabolism,” Panda added.

Time-restricted eating (eating all calories within a consistent 10-hour window) allows individuals to eat in a manner that supports their circadian rhythms and their health.

Circadian rhythms are the 24-hour cycles of biological processes that affect nearly every cell in the body.

Erratic eating patterns can disrupt this system and induce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including increased abdominal fat and abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides.

The study involved 19 participants diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, with 16 taking at least one medication, like a statin.

Diabetes risk factor
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that includes diabetes. Pixabay

Participants used an app created by Panda called myCircadianClock to log when and what they ate during an initial two-week baseline period followed by three months of 10-hour time-restricted eating per day.

They were told they could decide what time to eat and how much to eat as long as all food consumption occurred within a 10-hour window.

At the end of the 12 weeks, participants averaged a three per cent reduction in weight and body mass index (BMI) and a four per cent reduction in abdominal/visceral fat.

Many also experienced reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure and improvements in fasting glucose. Seventy percent of participants reported an increase in sleep satisfaction or in the amount they slept.

Also Read- Parents With Single Child More Likely to Tackle an Obese Kid: Study

“Patients also reported that they generally had more energy, and some were able to have their medications lowered or stopped after completing the study,” said study researcher Pam Taub from University of California. (IANS)