Gut Bacteria Controls Your Appetite, Tells Brain When You Are Full

Posted: Nov 25 2015, 4:57am CST | by , Updated: Nov 27 2015, 1:57am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Gut Bacteria Controls Your Appetite, Tells Brain When You Are Full
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Scientists have found that your gut bacteria are controlling your appetite levels.

When you lick your fingers after going through a bucket of KFC, the signals in your brain that tell you to stop or continue the binge. Believe it or not, it is not your inner censor that is telling you to eat or not to eat anymore.

It is your gut bacteria. The bacteria in the stomachs of mice and rats were studied intensively. The result was that it was found that these bacteria let the brain know when enough is enough. The healthier your gut microbiome, the better your appetite control center.

The multiplication of these bacteria leads to feelings of satiety or hunger. This knowledge might hold the secret to treating eating disorders in the future with greater effectiveness. We all have a feeling of being bloated after eating a heavy meal rich in carbohydrates and fats.

This was thought to be due to the stretching of the stomach. But now we know better. It is the balance or imbalance of bacteria in the gut that cause the signals to reach the brain. And thus we either reach for another piece of chocolate cake or forgo it depending on this bacterial balancing act going on in our bowels.

In fact, the gut microbiome may be responsible for many things besides just appetite. These include emotions and behavioral repertoire. What we term mental illness may have a lot to do with an imbalance in the gut system’s bacterial population.

The churning out of proteins by E.coli bacteria and their effect on appetite were studied very scrupulously by scientists. After 20 minutes of feeding, the E.coli bactera begin producing a different type of protein than they were previously creating.

Little amounts of these new proteins were injected into the guts of rats and mice in the lab. The rodents stopped eating even if they had been starving before being injected with the proteins. One protein triggered a satiety hormone. Another gave signals to the brain’s appetite center to simmer down.

Thus gut bacteria tell the brain whether to chow down or to skip a meal. It seems that the bacteria are the ones in control and not the organism. This bacterial manipulation has far-reaching consequences.

The trillions of gut bacteria are seen to influence everything from mood swings to hunger signals. And they are best supported by a healthy balanced diet which contains everything in moderation. Especially the addition of fermented foods to your eating regimen will lead to a healthy gut microbiome.

"We now think bacteria physiologically participate in appetite regulation immediately after nutrient provision by multiplying and stimulating the release of satiety hormones from the gut," Lead researcher of the study Dr Serguei Fetissov, from Rouen University in France, said. "In addition, we believe gut microbiota produce proteins that can be present in the blood longer term and modulate pathways in the brain."

The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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