Fast food is everywhere, and if the taste of it is questionable, the convenience is not. Even if you are among the more motivated and cook a homemade healthy meal, are you prepared, really, to exercise afterwards?
Then there’s the world of genetics. My father was obese, his mother was obese, his sister was obese, his brother was obese, and so it goes. Does that matter?
Science tells us good health comes from eating well and exercise. If you do those things then you’ll have more energy. Besides, lots of people do it, and you can too.
But have you ever heard of ghrelin?
The Hunger Hormone
When we are low on nutrients the stomach produces grehlin which in turn lets the brain know we need food. Shortly after, we become hungry. Some with Prader-Willi syndrome are always hungry because their bodies produce too much ghrelin. Research now suggests that a number of obese adults may be feeling that same effect because their bodies produced too much ghrelin when they were infants.
The hypothalamus has the highest density of ghrenlin receptors in the brain. Unstable levels of ghrelin during infancy may influence the key region of the hypothalamus that is involved in the regulation of appetite.
In order to test this, researchers selected inhibited ghrelin action in the pre-weaning period in mice. They also tested to see if elevated levels of ghrenlin early in life can have long-term effects. Blocking ghrelin resulted in the test mice gaining more weight, having more visceral fat and higher glucose levels than the control mice.
Axonal projections from the neurons inside the hypothalamus were measured to note the direct effects of ghrelin. Blocking the hormone caused more axonal projections and a number of lifelong metabolic dysfunctions. Elevating the levels diminished axonal projections and caused other metabolic dysfunctions presented.
There are ways to help maintain healthy ghrelin levels. One is to make sure that infants get the proper amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation can raise ghrelin levels.
Keeping a healthier diet is another way to help. Meals high in fat keep ghrelin levels low for a shorter period than carbohydrate or protein-based meals. Early minimization of the risks will make for a healthier future.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
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