From Science Daily:
Activating receptors in the brain for the body’s hunger hormone increases food-related behaviors, such as gathering, storing and consuming food, a finding that has implications for the treatment of obesity, according to researchers at Georgia State University.
Their study suggests that stimulating brain receptors for ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite, by injecting ghrelin into the brain is necessary and adequate to increase appetitive and consummatory behaviors in Siberian hamsters. However, activating ghrelin receptors in other parts of the body isn’t required to achieve these food-related behaviors.
The researchers also found that blocking brain receptors for grehlin neutralizes the hormone’s effect on food intake.
The findings, published in The American Journal of Physiology — Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, have important implications for treating obesity, a major public health concern worldwide.
“We’ve shown for the first time that blocking ghrelin receptors in the brain prevents an increase in both short-term and long-term food foraging, food hoarding and food intake following an injection of ghrelin in peripheral areas of the body,” said Michael A. Thomas, lead author and a graduate student in biology at Georgia State.
Levels of ghrelin circulation in the body fluctuate in response to the time elapsed since a person’s last meal, falling immediately after food consumption. Grehlin receptors are in the brain (central area) and the vagus nerve leading to the stomach (periphery).
Appetitive behaviors include driving to or shopping for food, also known as foraging, and storing food in cupboards, refrigerators, freezers and pantries, also called…