General, Research, Technology

Neurological cause of obesity detected

The results of a study conducted at the InstituteUniversity of Virginia’s brain, connected the pleasure center in the brain with the work of circadian rhythms - the built-in biological clock of all living organisms on Earth. Delicious food, as you know, contributes to the development of the neurotransmitter dopamine - a chemical in the brain associated with a sense of pleasure. In turn, the availability of delicious and high-calorie food - as well as its excess - leads to an increase in obesity and the number of patients with cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes around the world. As the authors of a new study found, intermittent fasting can be an effective way to combat obesity. But why?

Cake, of course, looks very seductive

When did obesity become a problem?

During the first 350 thousand years of the existence of HomoSapiens, our ancestors were unaware of obesity. In those days, there were few opportunities for long-term storage of food. Achievements in the field of canning and storage of products have become a real revolution. But progress does not always happen with a plus sign, everything has its own price, which we paid with “abundance diseases” (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes 2). Biologically, we are not adapted to constantly receive food, all the more high-calorie.

Authors of a recent study funded byThe National Institute of General Medicine and the Brain Institute of the University of Virginia write that "the ubiquitous availability of energy-rich, wholesome foods is correlated with an increasing incidence of obesity worldwide." The team, led by University of Virginia Biology Professor Ali Guler, has discovered a link between circadian rhythms and a pleasure center in the brain - this link is the driving force behind obesity. You can read more about what a biological clock is, how it works and why it is important, here.

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In the past, people did not know when they could eatnext time, but today everything has changed. High-calorie foods saturated with sugars and carbohydrates activate our brain's pleasure center; well-being is a biological signal for satiety. We feel satisfaction, and then we become dependent on this feeling. According to Big Think, food companies have long exploited this fact. The ability to store food for a long period of time is relatively new and ensures that our next two dozen dishes are just waiting in the kitchen.

Did you feel like Homer Simpson too?

Electricity led to refrigerators,lighting and, ultimately, smartphones, which also play a role in this challenging puzzle. Most of the time the Sun acted as a natural alarm clock, people got up and lay down with it. But everything has changed and the work of our biological rhythms is changing, which negatively affects health. The constant use of phones also negatively affects the work of circadian rhythms, and lack of sleep contributes to obesity.

Circadian rhythms - biological rhythms with a period of work of about 24 hours, which every living creature on Earth daily follows. Circadian rhythms or biorhythms are directly related to millions of years of evolution.

The situation is that a full daily dietcalories can be packaged in a small volume, such as a cake or a sweet carbonated drink. Consuming too many calories is incredibly easy, and overeating often leads to obesity and related health problems for life, the authors of a scientific paper published in the journal Current Biology write.

What is intermittent fasting?

Easily accessible high-calorie foodsstart the work of the pleasure center, forcing us not only to overeat during lunch, but also to have a snack all day. This is one of the surest ways to gain weight, the study notes. Unfortunately, our bodies, in the form of fat, store more calories eaten during a snack than during a normal meal. But how to deal with obesity?

Scientists believe that a varied diet with long time intervals is good for health and natural for our species.

See also: How periodic fasting affects life expectancy

One important way to deal with excessintermittent fasting, which contributes to weight loss, as shown by previous studies, is weight. While there is controversy regarding the exact duration of fasting, it seems that a 10-hour break between meals is good for the body. Some researchers even suggested that a break of 12 hours would help lose weight. The authors of the study note that “people have evolved in a constant search for food, but this is no longer there.

Overall, the study found that consumptionfood is part of our genetic inheritance: if there is food, then we will eat it. Keeping a 10-hour break between meals along with consuming fewer carbohydrates can help millions of people maintain good health. It should be noted that the conclusions of this study should not be tried on the entire population, since each organism has its own characteristics of work, before moving on to a new type of nutrition, consult your doctor. Particularly attentive to the diet should be people suffering from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.