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Hungry?

Posted Sep 08 2011 7:00am
Yes this is me, you aren't used to seeing me with clothes on huh? ha ha


This blog is all about food, not training so I thought I might dress up a bit. I am cooking one of my favorite foods, mushrooms! I eat 4 to 5 pounds a week all by myself.


I eat according to a schedule, and the strange thing is, even when I don't know what time it is, my stomach and brain signal me that it is time to eat again at the regular time.


Odd isn't is?


I read an article by James J. Lee in the San Jose Mercury News, I would like to share some pieces of that artilce here with you.


According to a study by Rajat Singh and his colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York, it all makes perfect sense. 

They discovered that the brain cells responsible for controlling hunger, called AgRP neurons, started to consume small parts of themselves when the body had gone without food for several hours.  That process, called autophagy, set off a chain reaction that boosted hunger proteins in the brain.


"If scientists can learn to control this cannibalistic behaviors in these cells, they can develop treatments that will help with obesity and overfeeding in humans", Singh said.


In this case, "understanding the regulation of AgRP neurons is critical because these neurons are sufficient to orchestrate voracious eating" said Scott Sternson, a scientist who studies how our brains are wired. 


There is a huge network of brain cells that must talk to each other in order to regulate hunger in humans, Singh said. These cells must coordinate signals about nutrient and energy levels from all over the body, then relay instructions to other areas such as our muscles to start or stop eating.


We all have a basal level of autophagy happening all the time. Normally, this low level of self-consumption is how our cells clear out damaged parts or get rid of things the no longer need. At baseline, it's a garbage system, a housekeeping function. 


But when we've gone without food for several hours, our body starts to break down its fat reserves, called triglycerides, into fatty acids.


When the hypothalamus registers an increase in circulating fatty acids, the cells that control hunger rev up their autophagy process. This process breaks down the neuron's fat reserves, releasing fatty acids to float freely around the cell. This triggers production of the proteins that tell us we're hungry.

My take away? Continue to eat often throughout the day, and never go so long that I am feeling hungry! I cannot be training hard in the gym just to have my body eat away at itself! 
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