Dieting Forces Brain To Cannibalize

Submitted by Lois Rain

Diet eats brainModern dieting misinformation abounds: “Eat few calories! No fat! Tiny portions! Less food!” All of which might be all right if people were actually getting loads of nutrition, which is why this writer refers to current dieting fads altogether as “The Starvation Diet.”

In the midst of all the dieting confusion, comes an under-the-radar claim from scientists that dieting literally forces the brain to eat itself!

Just as other parts of the body such as muscles begin to cannibalize, brain cells eat themselves as a last resort to keep the body from starving to death. This inevitably creates a more intense hunger and sets up a bad cycle for weight gain.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York were really on to something when they discovered the process of autophagy (literally, self eating self) in test mice placed on diets. However, their findings are geared towards finding the new best weight loss treatments, i.e. drugs to trick the brain out of self-cannibalism. Even though lack of nutrition was the basis for autophagy, more nutrition simply couldn’t be the solution to keep the brain from pulling a zombie attack on itself.

Their findings, reported in the Cell Press journal Cell Metabolism, do present evidence that supports the claim that diets (without nutrition as a basis) do not work; thus, the yo-yo effect. Extreme dieting can cause other damage as well. The Biggest Loser strength coach, Jillian Michaels, learned the hard way after years of trying rigid diet fads. She explains in her book, Master Your Metabolism, how she destroyed her metabolism in the early days and sadly, lost the use of her thyroid.

Previously, it was believed that the brain was able to resist the starvation-cannibal response. Dr Rajat Singh, who led the study, had found a similar starvation-induced response in the liver.

The new evidence shows that lipids within the so-called agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons are mobilized following autophagy, generating free fatty acids. Those fatty acids in turn boost levels of AgRP, itself a hunger signal. -Prevent Disease

Singh mentioned, “A pathway that is really important for every cell to turn over components in a kind of housekeeping process is also required to regulate appetite…Treatments aimed at the pathway might make you less hungry and burn more fat, a good way to maintain energy balance in a world where calories are cheap and plentiful.”

The researchers wrote that, “The present study demonstrates the unique nature of hypothalamic neurons in their ability to upregulate autophagy in response to starvation that is consistent with the roles of these neurons in feeding and energy homeostasis.” They showed that when autophagy is blocked in AgRP neurons, AgRP levels fail to rise in response to starvation.

Of course, whenever research leads to such discoveries, their conclusions almost always recommend new drugs that shut down neuro-pathways allowing obesity-laden folks to keep living the same nutritionless lifestyle, while eating less, and burning more.

Yeah, that sounds much healthier.

~Health Freedoms