The holiday season is difficult for anyone watching their weight. The sights and smells of food are hard to resist. One factor in the hunger response is a stomach hormone that makes us more vulnerable to tasty food odors, encouraging overeating and obesity.
A new study on ghrelin hormone was published today at Mobile Reports On December 4, 2018, led by Dr. Alan Daher's laboratory at the Institute of Neurology of Montreal and at the University Hospital of McGill.
Previous studies by the Dr. Daguerre group and others have shown that ghrelin encourages the consumption and production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is important for reward reward, and in this study, 38 patients were injected with ghrelin and exposed to a variety of odors, both food and non-food, Neutrality of random objects, so that in time they addressed subjects with smells.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers recorded activity in the brain regions known to be involved in response to dopamine response. They found that activity in these areas was higher in subjects injected with graline, but only in response to images associated with food smells. This means that ghrelin is the predominant mind linking to reward with food odors.
The subjects also rated the pleasantness of images associated with the smell of food, and the results showed that ghrelin reduced reaction time and increased the perceived sweetness of food-related images, but did not affect their responses to images associated with non-food odors.
People who deal with obesity often have an abnormal response to food-related cues that are abundant in our environment, for example in fast food advertising. This study shows that ghrelin may be a major factor in their increased response to food clues. The identified brain regions have been associated with a neurogenic type of nerve that provides vulnerability to obesity, indicating genetic hypersensitivity to food-related images and odors.
"Obesity is becoming more common worldwide and it is known to cause health problems such as heart disease and diabetes," says Dr. Dagher. "This study describes the mechanism by which ghrelin makes people more susceptible to the stimuli that cause hunger, and as far as we know, It is easier to develop treatments that demonstrate this effect. "
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