Foods rich in fats are the most compelling. They generate the production of endocannabinoids, substances that provoke the gluttonous conduct.
Foods rich in fats are the main contributors to weight gain and obesity, but also the most irresistible. New research found that whenever we consume our gut produces a substance – similar to the compounds containing the marijuana – causing our gluttonous behavior.
These substances, called endocannabinoids, occur only when we eat fatty foods, say scientists at the University of California, Irving, United States. As the researchers say in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the finding could lead to a strategy to reduce craving for fatty foods by blocking the production of these substances.
The solid products cause the release of endocannabinoids, which generate the craving for more food.
Endocannabinoids are a group of fat molecules that are involved in various physiological processes such as appetite, pain sensation, memory, and mood. They are substances similar to cannabis but produced naturally by the body itself.
As these compounds act both in the brain and in the rest of the body, they have long been being investigated for their potential to treat various diseases and addictions.
“This is the first demonstration that endocannabinoid signals in the stomach play a significant role in the regulation of fat consumption,” says Dr. Daniele Piomelli, Pharmacology professor, and study director.
The new study, conducted in mice, found that when animals eat a fatty product a group of cells in their digestive tract begins to produce endocannabinoids. This effect, however, was not with sugars or proteins.
The process, scientists say, begins in the tongue, where fats generate a signal that travels first to the brain and then to the vagus nerve, a set of nerves that runs from the pharynx to the intestine. There the signal stimulates the production of endocannabinoids which leads to an increase in cellular signals that provoke the craving to continue consuming fatty foods.
Scientists believe that this mechanism involves the release of digestive compounds linked to hunger and satiety, so we feel the craving for more.
Scientists do not yet know why this mechanism is unleashed only with fats and not with other foods, such as proteins or sugars. Professor Piomelli believes that perhaps this process has been an evolutionary response of mammals. “Animals have an imperative need to consume fats that, although they are scarce in nature, are crucial for the proper functioning of the cells,” he explains.
“In contemporary human society, however, fats are widely available, and the innate need to eat fatty foods has led to obesity, diabetes, and cancer, ” adds Piomelli. That is, this natural mechanism that once helped mammals survive is now causing the reverse effect.
The researchers believe the finding could lead to a potential treatment for suppressing anxiety about eating fatty foods, for example with a drug that could obstruct the activity of endocannabinoids. For More visit http://reviewsgang.com/