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Do specialized nerve cells increase appetite for high-fat foods

According to a new study from the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne, specialized nerve cells in the hypothalamus section of the brain increases the desire for high-fat food. Known as the nociceptin neurons, this group of nerve cells in the brains of mice cause the rodents to eat more. The research may shed light on human food choices and the obesity epidemic that has only worsened since the 1980s. Take a moment to learn about this study as part of your continuing weight loss education inspired by Phentermine 37.5mg.

Three Days

Researchers fed mice high-fat diets for three days before noticing nociceptin neuron changes in a specific region of the brain that functions as the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Next, they selectively removed the nociceptin neurons, which caused the mice to stop “over-consuming” the high-fat food. The neurons subsequently control the intake of high-fat food according to the researchers, who also used genetically-modified mice to control neuron activity via special lights.

“The activation of these brain cells led to an excessive food intake of the animals,” explained Alexander Jais, the study’s first author. “The activation of nociceptin neurons inhibits certain neurons which regulate satiety and therefore the animals ingest more food.”

Obesity Could Start In The Brain

The consumption of energy-dense foods has disrupted bodily energy balances, causing many to increase their caloric intake.

“We are constantly surrounded by cheap, palatable, energy-dense foods and our brains are wired in such a way that we particularly prefer these foods,” said Jais. “It is still not known why some people manage to eat only as much as they need and others do not. The individual activity of nociceptin neurons could be an important piece to the puzzle. Their activity promotes overconsumption, making them an attractive target for the prevention and treatment of obesity.”

“The current Covid-19 pandemic reminds us that obesity and associated metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, are risk factors and therefore a better understanding of the central nervous system control of food intake is urgently needed, with particular emphasis on high-calorie, fat- and carbohydrate-rich foods,” noted Jais.

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