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New diet aid? Insulin using a nasal spray can relieve hunger

New diet aid? Insulin using a nasal spray can relieve hunger


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New research findings: Insulin can reduce hunger
A new study has shown that insulin activates certain regions in the brain and can thus help to regulate the feeling of hunger. The new findings from diabetes research could help regulate the eating behavior of certain patients and help them lose weight.

More and more diabetics
The number of diabetes patients is increasing massively worldwide. One of the reasons for this is the increasing frequency of overweight and obesity. People suffering from diabetes are usually advised to exercise regularly, eat healthy and, if necessary, lose weight. This is difficult for many, they are repeatedly ravaged by food cravings. As researchers have now discovered, insulin can help reduce hunger.

Healthy diet for diabetes prevention
Nutrition is of paramount importance in both prevention and treatment of diabetes.

For example, a diet with a high percentage of whole grains can protect against the disease.

In principle, you should not eat too much, because being overweight favors the development of diabetes.

Eating behavior is regulated by hormones
A large number of hormones regulate eating behavior and the feeling of hunger. A key role is played by the hormone insulin, which is active not only in the body but also in the brain.

So far, it is known that insulin acts on the homeostatic region (hypothalamus).

The hypothalamus is the highest regulatory center for all vegetative and endocrine processes. The hypothalamus coordinates water, salt balance and blood pressure. It maintains the inner milieu (homeostasis) and regulates food intake.

However, it is believed that the hormone is also active in other brain regions.

Influence on the subjective feeling of hunger
Scientists at the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases at the Helmholtz Zentrum München at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen and the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) have now succeeded in further decoding the function of insulin in the brain and its influence on the subjective feeling of hunger .

The results of the study were published in the "Scientific Reports" by "Nature".

As reported by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the DZD, the researchers gave insulin to healthy young adults internally as part of the study in order to better understand how insulin works.

By applying the hormone via a nasal spray, the blood-brain barrier is bypassed and the insulin reaches the brain directly. In the study, 25 healthy slim, ten overweight and twelve obese adults "sniffed" insulin or the placebo.

The brain activities were then recorded using magnetic resonance tomography.

Help you lose weight
The result: Internasal insulin improves the functional connections in all study participants in the prefrontal regions of the retirement network (Default Mode Network, DMN) of a group of brain regions that are activated when people are at rest and do no tasks.

This region is central to cognitive processes. In addition, the functional connections between the DMN and the hippocampus and the hypothalamus are strengthened.

These changes in the brain also affect eating behavior. They cause the link between obesity and hunger to change. Actually, people with a lot of visceral fat are also more hungry.

“With increased connectivity between the DMN and the hippocampus due to insulin, this linkage between adipose tissue and the subjective feeling of hunger is suppressed,” says study author Stephanie Kullmann. The affected participants were less hungry for intranasal insulin administration.

The scientists also observed that insulin in the brain also improves the effects of the hormone in the body. Study participants with an increased functional connectivity in the DMN induced by insulin show a higher insulin sensitivity in the body.

This counteracts obesity and type 2 diabetes. According to the experts, the results show that insulin in the brain may help regulate and decrease eating behavior through an improved functional link between cognitive and homeostatic regions in the brain. (ad)

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