> Alcohol Linked to Increased Appetite - The Food Safety Company Alcohol Linked to Increased Appetite - The Food Safety Company
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    Thursday, 12 January 2017

    Alcohol Linked to Increased Appetite

    New research has discovered that alcohol activates brain signals, instructing the body that more food is needed. This state of mind, starvation mode, leads to increased hunger and appetite. The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications by a Francis Crick Institute team who conducted their study on mice. The UK researchers suspect that the same effect can be seen in humans.

    Just think back to your last pub night; were you inclined to eat more than you normally would?

    According to the researchers, this reaction is not a loss of restraint but a neuronal response and a confusing one at that. Alcohol itself is full of calories and “calorie intake usually supresses brain appetite signals,” according to the researchers.

    For the study, mice were given a large amount of alcohol, the equivalent of 18 standard drink units or a bottle-and-a-half of wine for a person, for three days. Basically, they had a binge-drinking weekend out. The researchers observed an increased activity of AGRP neurons; only when the body is in starvation mode do these neurons fire. As a result, the mice ate more than normal.

    To determine the cause of their increased appetite, the researchers repeated the experiment but administered a drug to block the AGRP neurons. This time around, the mice did not overindulge, concluding that AGRP neurons are the cause of overeating linked to alcohol.

    Denis Burdakov and his colleagues, authors of the study, believe that learning more about how alcohol affects both the human body and behaviour will help fight against obesity. Consider that a large glass of wine, something many drink over dinner, has as many calories as a doughnut.

    The drinking culture in the UK is far more involved than in other countries. Professor Sir Ian Gilmore from Alcohol Health Alliance UK shared his concerns about alcohol’s impact with BBC: “Alcohol is responsible for over 60 illnesses and conditions on its own, and drinkers place themselves at even greater risk when their drinking is combined with over-eating: especially because when people drink they are more likely to make less healthy food choices. Alcohol and obesity cause 90& of liver deaths and alcohol is twice as toxic to the liver in very obese patients.” 

    Jacqui Litvan

    Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).
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