Ever go through a ‘hungry phase?’ It could be due to lazy satiety-promoting neurons in your brain. But what causes these neurons to go haywire? Eating too much in the first place. Yale School of Medicine researchers found these neurons start to act sluggish as a response to habitual overeating, creating a vicious cycle.
Here’s how it works: When you eat, neurons increase production of certain free radicals, known as reactive oxygen species, in your brain. We all know that some level of free radicals in the body can cause problems, possible leading to cancer, skin aging and heart disease. But free radicals also do good things, too—including help your body feel full. You eat, free radicals production by your neurons spikes, and your body knows it’s full.
But if you eat too much regularly, your neurons begin to simply cut back on making free radicals. It’s a body’s attempt to cut back on free radical damage. But it also results in cycle of overeating—you eat too much, free radical production slows, this keeps you from feeling full, which can lead to again overeating, and a further decrease in free radical production …
What’s the takeaway? ? “If you can help it, try not to start down the path of overeating, because your biology could wind up working against you,” blogger Robert T. Gonzalez writes. “The Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde role of free radicals in the body may explain, for example, why it has proven difficult to develop therapeutic strategies for obesity without having to deal with serious side effects.”
If you’re in a ‘hungry phase,’ then, letting it run its course may be the worst possible idea, then. If you feel like you’ve been eating too much recently, try to be especially mindful of what you’re eating for a few days to get those sluggish neurons back to productivity.