‘Hunger hormone’ fights anxiety, depressionJune 16th, 2008 - 3:02 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, June 16 (IANS) Ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”, might help ward off stress-induced depression and anxiety but it will cause you to put on weight. A new study on mice has found that chronic stress causes ghrelin levels to go up and that behaviours associated with depression and anxiety decrease when ghrelin levels rise.
An unfortunate side effect, however, is increased food intake and body weight, said Jeffrey Zigman of University of Tennessee, the study’s senior author.
“Our findings support the idea that these hunger hormones don’t do just one thing. Rather, they coordinate entire behavioural response to stress and probably affect mood, stress and energy levels,” said Michael Lutter, co-author.
It is known that fasting causes ghrelin to be produced in the gastrointestinal tract and that the hormone then plays a role in sending hunger signals to the brain.
Research groups, including Zigman’s, have suggested that blocking the body’s response to ghrelin signals might be one way to help control weight by decreasing food intake and increasing energy expenditure.
“However, this new research suggests that if you block ghrelin signalling, you might actually increase anxiety and depression, which would be bad,” Zigman said.
Zigman said the findings make sense when considered from an evolutionary standpoint. Earlier, the one common human experience was securing enough food to prevent starvation.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed to be as calm and collected as possible when it was time to venture out in search of food or risk becoming dinner themselves, Zigman said.
Findings of the study are slated to appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.
- Why we reach for chocolates during stress? - Jun 24, 2011
- Less sleep among teens may cause weight gain - Oct 24, 2011
- Why a piece of pizza is so tempting after a stressful day - Dec 01, 2010
- Pleasure eating may fuel obesity - May 03, 2012
- Hunger hormone 'ups nose's ability to sniff out food' - Apr 13, 2011
- 'Hunger' hormone ups desire for high-calorie foods - Jun 22, 2010
- Gorging even when we are full? Blame it on hormone - Dec 28, 2009
- Why do we overeat despite being full - Dec 28, 2009
- Having desserts for breakfast good for slimming - Feb 08, 2012
- Mind determines quantity of food to consume: Study - May 27, 2011
- Female sex hormone regulates weight - Oct 20, 2011
- Scientists find cholesterol regulating 'remote-control' in brain - Jun 07, 2010
- Stress drives appetite and obesity - Aug 14, 2011
- Test providing new pathway for identifying obesity, diabetes drugs developed - Sep 17, 2010
- Dessert with breakfast can benefit dieters - Jun 26, 2012
Tags: anxiety and depression, brain research, chronic stress, co author, energy expenditure, energy levels, food intake, forthcoming issue, gastrointestinal tract, human experience, hunger signals, hunter gatherer, increasing energy, journal nature, nature neuroscience, research groups, starvation, stress causes, unfortunate side effect, university of tennessee