Indian American medical scientist article about hunger hormone and defects of excess eating

By Live Dr - Thu Feb 05, 12:24 pm

‘Past behaviour governs impulsive eating’

Washington: Some people act more impulsively than others in case of tempting or fattening foods, according to a new study by Anirban Mukhopadhyay, Jaideep Sengupta and Suresh Ramanathan of the universities of Michigan, Hong Kong and Chicago.
The researchers assessed the impulsiveness of participants in four related studies. They had participants recall instances where they succumbed to temptation or resisted it. Participants also had opportunities to eat cookies or cheeseballs – without knowing their acts were being tracked.
In the case of impulsive people, “thinking about failure may actually beget success”, wrote the authors in an article that will appear in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.
“So what is it that makes people succumb to temptation, time after sinful time? We suggest that the likelihood of a repeat act of indulgence depends on what people recall doing the previous time they were faced with a similar choice,” the authors write.
“In general, chronically impulsive people are more likely to feel this conflict between the two forces – of giving in and holding back, while those who tend to be less impulsive are also less likely to experience such a struggle.”
The results of this study suggest ways to improve the health of both impulsive and non-impulsive consumers. Both groups did a better job of resisting temptation when they recalled past instances of resisting temptation along with their reasons for resisting.

New way found to suppress ‘hunger hormone’

Washington: An Indian American medical scientist has successfully suppressed levels of ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin in pigs, which could pave the way for a lasting solution to obesity in people.
He relied on a minimally invasive mode of vapourising the main vessel carrying blood to the top section or fundus of the stomach. An estimated 90 percent of the body’s ghrelin originates in the fundus, which, without good blood supply, can’t synthesise the hormone.
“With gastric artery chemical embolisation, called GACE, there’s no major surgery,” said Aravind Arepally, clinical director of the Centre for Bio-engineering Innovation, design and associate professor of radiology and surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“In our study in pigs, this procedure produced an effect similar to bariatric surgery by suppressing ghrelin levels and subsequently lowering appetite.”
Arepally and his team pointed out that for more than a decade, efforts to safely and easily suppress ghrelin have met with very limited success.
Bariatric surgery – involving the removal, reconstruction or bypass of part of the stomach or bowel – is effective in suppressing appetite and leading to significant weight loss, but carries substantial surgical risks and complications.
“Obesity is the biggest bio-medical problem in the country, and a minimally invasive alternative would make an enormous difference in choices and outcomes for obese people,” Arepally said.
Arepally and colleagues conducted their study over four weeks, using 10 healthy, growing pigs; after an overnight fast, the animals were weighed and blood samples were taken to measure baseline ghrelin levels. Pigs were the best option, because of their human-like anatomy and physiology, he said.
Using X-ray for guidance, researchers threaded a thin tube up through a large blood vessel near the pigs’ groins and then into the gastric arteries supplying blood to the stomachs.
There, they administered one-time saline injections in the left gastric arteries of five control pigs, and in the other five, one-time shots of sodium morrhuate, a chemical that destroys the blood vessels.
The team then sampled the pigs’ blood for one month to monitor ghrelin values. The levels of the hormone in GACE-treated pigs were suppressed up to 60 percent from baseline.
These findings were reported in the Tuesday online edition of Radiology.

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