Friday, December 21, 2018

Glucose, Fructose, and the Brain

Kathleen Page and colleagues at the University of Southern California, studied the effects of glucose and fructose on the hypothalamus—the appetite control center, which responds to hormones such as Leptin that tell the brain you are full. When study participants consumed a drink containing only glucose, blood flow and activity in the hypothalamus decreased and they reported feeling full. When the same participants were fed a fructose drink, the hypothalamus remained active and they did not report feeling full. The brain still thought the body was hungry. Some studies suggest that the average person may gain between 1-3 pounds during a holiday season. Often people do not lose this weight after the holiday season has passed, which some believe is responsible for the slow,insidious, almost imperceptible weight gain as years go by—until one day the person realizes they are definitely overweight if not obese. The problem is that for most people it is much harder to lose the weight than it was to gain it. My strategy is to avoid sweets and deserts and if I REALLY want a special taste, I will take two bites only and eat them slowly. After that, my brain is only eating from memory anyway.

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