Stress as a risk factor for obesity

Scientists have discovered why, experiencing stress, we start to consume more fatty high-calorie food.

According to the researchers, is that the stress many people want to "seize" ice cream, chocolate and burgers to blame the so-called "hunger hormone" - ghrelin.It is he who makes you want to eat high-calorie foods during stressful situations difficult.This finding may explain the mechanism of obesity in people who are in a constant state of psychological stress.

Research hormone ghrelin action in stressful situations was carried out in the laboratory on mice.However, study author Dr. Jeffrey Zigman, in an article published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, argues that the findings can be applied to humans.

known that ghrelin hormone is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and its function is to send signals to the brain, informing about the feeling of hunger.D. Siegman Studies have shown that chronic stress also contributes to increase the level of ghrelin in the blood.At the same time

, with higher levels of ghrelin state of anxiety and depression weakens.In mice, increasing the content of ghrelin lead to overeating and obesity, which may explain the weight gain in humans exposed to constant stress or experiencing depression.

In this study, the researchers tried to find out what hormones and the brain region responsible for the behavior and addiction to certain types of food during times of stress.It turned out that it is the hormone ghrelin, catching under stress, plays a crucial role in these processes.Hunger hormone ghrelin, getting to the brain, affects certain groups of neurons in the area of ​​the brain responsible for feelings of pleasure and encouragement.

This mechanism of action of ghrelin was formed in the course of evolution and due to the fact that our remote ancestors, who were hunters and gatherers, it was necessary to remain calm as possible while searching for food.Otherwise they could be themselves in the role of the dinner at the more cautious predators.Therefore, ghrelin, both forced to go on the hunt, feeling hunger and, at the same time, has antidepressant and calming effect.

In the modern world, this mechanism is turned to the people a new challenge - not only hunger makes us want to eat.Stress, anxiety, excitement or depression, increase the level of this hormone treacherous, cause we have, just to calm down and feel better.We enjoy eating and the desired therapeutic effect, however, as a side effect also get overweight.And people are always in a state of stress, the mechanism turns into a vicious circle: the "stress - food - overweight - stress" from which not so simply to escape.

However, such studies to explain the causes and mechanisms of our behavior, perhaps in the future will help to find new ways to combat as stress and overweight that it causes.

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