Understanding Hunger MechanismBy: Dr. Terry Shintani
I’m going to talkabout suppressinghunger, withoutusing medication orany artificialsubstances, because of course one ofthe great issues thatmost of America isdealing with, isbeing overweight.
One of the keys to keeping the weightoff is suppressing hunger. That’s one ofthe reasons why there’s this huge industryof providing things that suppress hungerlike drugs that work on your nervoussystem.
Years ago, they had a scandal with thecombination of Phentermine andPhenformin, these are two appetitespresent drugs, and there are manyattempts at appetites suppressing withpharmaceuticals. The problem with thatapproach of course is that allpharmaceuticals that are artificial atleast have side effects, and most ofthese pharmaceuticals have somepotentially very negative side effects.
Phentermine and PhenforminSide effectCardiacAbnormalities
So I think it is really important tounderstand the hunger mechanism sothat we can suppress our hunger withoutusing artificial means. Let’s start byunderstanding hunger and hungersuppression.
The Hunger Drive is what causes us toeat and in some or many cases, toovereat. We consume too many caloriesor we consume more calories that weburn, and the excess is stored in ourbodies and we start putting on thepounds.
Hunger is one of the main drives to keep usalive. It’s as old as since animal life beganbecause you have to have 3 basic thingsto survive. Air- at least mammals do Water- all living things require this Foods- Some source of energy andnutrients to provide the energy for you tofunction and building blocks of structuralproteins and enzymes so that all yoursystems will function.
The interesting thing isthat no oneoverbreathes.Your desire forbreathing air is not overshot. You breathe andif you breathe toomuch, you slow downand you get the rightamount of air.
Very few people haveproblem drinking toomuch or too little water.That’s your thirstdrive, which is again quitewell regulated. Certainlywe have people drinkingtoo much of soda that issugared drinks. But in termsof real water, you can’tsee people drowningthemselves with water.
So why is it that we have a hunger drivethat causes us seemingly to eat toomuch food, and basically start toexplode from too much calories andhave all kinds of health problems.
Part of the reason is, the air has notchanged appreciably, since mammalshave been created. We still haveOxygen in the air and be breathe it in,we exhale CO2 and the change hasbeen slow enough that the animals onearth breathe air have adopted, waterhasn’t changed, it still needs H2O tosurvive
However, when we eat food, we do havea serious problem of people seeminglyovereating.OVEREATING may cause MALREGULATION
We now consume foods that is muchdifferent today from it was, hundreds ofyears ago, when we did not have muchobesity. We are consuming much moreanimal fat, and the animals have beenfattened up beyond nutritionalrecognition.
We eat a lot ofprocessed foods thatinclude processedsugar, processedflower products, andalso fats and oils, I’mtalking about evenvegetables becauseafter all corn oil is aprocessed food, it issqueezed from cornkernels and refinedbeyond recognition.
So we consume so much ofthese, in the old of these weeat only a little bit of thesefoods, but not to the vastextent that we do today. Whyis that a problem? It’s becausethe food has gotten smallerthat it doesn’t stretch out thestomach like it’s supposed to.
Let me go back to thehunger mechanism becausewe are talking about howhunger is important to drive usto continue to eat asnecessary.
What happens is when wefeel hungry, we are driven to eatfood, and when we startconsuming foods, we start feelingfeel getting satisfied. What are thethings that cause us to feelsatisfied?
One of them iscalories. It’snutrients, aminoacids, sugar, glucose, fats- all of these play arole in satisfying hunger.And a lot of people thatfats suppress hungerreally well, but the truthis it’s a complete myth.And a lot of people thatfats suppress hungerreally well, but the truthis it’s a complete myth.
Yes it does suppress hungerbut it’s actually less satisfying thanprotein or carbohydrate on a calorie forcalorie basis. On a weight for weightbasis it’s more satisfying because twicethe calories of protein and carbohydratebut on calorie for calorie basis it’s lesssatisfying.
These substanceswill get into thebloodstream, they will gothe hypothalamus andget detected by thelining of the stomach,
and these very sensors that causesecretion of factors ormicrohormones from the stomachand some of them includecholecystokinin, somatostatin, someromitun, gralan, peptide y y- all ofthese are substances secreted bythe stomach or gastro intestinal wallthat help to signal the hypothalamusthat you have enough food onboard and you feel satisfied.
The question is, why is it that it doesn’twork well enough to suppress hungerbefore we get too many calories?. Ibelieve that one of the main reasons isthat we are missing the very importantpart of hunger satisfaction- the stretchingof the stomach.
When stomach stretches out, that causes alot of things. First, it sense a vagalnerve, a large nerve that you don’t reallyfeel, it sends signal to the brain that yourstomach is stretched out. It tells you thatyou are starting to feel satisfied like whenyou say that you are full, that is a vagalnerve signal to the brain that yourstomach is full and you are satisfied.
Another thing is that stretching of thestomach also stimulate the release ofhormonescholecystokinin, somatostatin, someromitun, gastro intestinal peptides likeghrelin, peptide y y, both of whichsuppress hunger.
Another hormone that actuallyperforms a role is that leptin, which issecreted by fat cells. What’s happeningis that when we eat lots of processedfoods, we are actually eating less foodsbut lots of calories.
A simple example iseating an apple, which isabout 80 calories, youconsumed that, yourstomach feels a certainamount of fullness. Youwill notice that if you eata couple of apples evenif you’re hungry, itsatisfies your hunger andthat’s like 160calories, which is not ahuge load in your system.
If however you get a muffin, which is ofthe same size as the apple, and youconsume that- people can consume 2muffins. If you looked up to the label ofan apple brand muffin, it turns out tobe 550 calories.
Now the stretching of the stomach isvirtually the same because the size of 1 muffin islike the size of 2 apples. But look at the numberof calories, the 2 apples gave you 160calories, while 2 muffins gives you 1100 calories –an enormous calorie load before you feelsatisfied. That is one of the main reasons whyhunger mechanism doesn’t work properlybecause it is working but it’s working on foodthat is altered and no longer has the ability to fillup the stomach and allow for the natural hungermechanism to work.