Pass the Ghrelin, Please

So researchers at McGill have found that it's not the soft, sweet cake or the gooey, greasy goodness of poutine that brings us back for more and puts us on a bender, increase our waistlines and tipping our scales. No, no. It's gremlins....er, I mean, ghrelin. It's actually a hormone produced in our body when our stomach is empty. It reaches our brain's pleasure centre the same way a cigarette or any other addictive substance can. So to be crude, these researchers stuck some people with some extra ghrelin, showed them pictures of evil treats and they remembered the pictures more strongly. Um, sorry. If you showed me pictures of food and I'm hungry, I'm going to remember no matter what. What kind of a study is this? But they're breaking them down into belly empty hunger and oooh-look! YUMMY! hunger, which I think most of us would fall into as we're apt to be over-eaters around these parts, wouldn't you say? So this has spurned two things: the slippery food addiction debate, once again as well as pharma companies to develop ghrelin-blocking pills as the next new diet pill. Because we need ANOTHER diet pill... FUN, fun! You can read a little more about it in the Globe and Mail, The Star, or on CBC.


Jen said...

Oh dear...I don't even know where to start commenting...all I will say is by next year studies will show that we NEED Ghrelin...or that it causes cancer or something ridiculous and contradicting!

meredi said...

Ghrelin is also affected by how much sleep you get... which explains why we tend to be hungry on days after we don't sleep well.

It's sad if all this winds up creating more quick fixes, sigh.

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