Walnuts: appetite-control through the activation of certain brain regions
Nuts are one of the most valuable foods. You will have a positive effect on the metabolism and are suitable for the Prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Scientists have demonstrated in a study that, in particular, walnuts are well-suited to support for a diet, Slimming, in which they trigger a positive feeling of satiety.
The scientists at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) were able to demonstrate in their current study, for the first time the neuro-cognitive effects of walnut consumption. They found that the consumption of walnuts activated a Region in the brain that is used for the control of Hunger and cravings is responsible. Have published their results, the researchers in the journal “Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism”.
Brain activity during walnut consumption investigated
In order to determine exactly how to walnuts act in the brain, the researchers used the imaging method of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). So you were able to observe the activity in the brain and determine which parts of the brain activated regions during consumption of walnuts. Ten obese Volunteers were laid for two study periods of five days in the hospital, where they were given a strictly controlled diet. So the scientists had to rely on the information of the subjects your food consumption, but could this understand exactly.
Subjects received walnut Smoothie or Placcebo-Drink
During a five-day session, the subjects received daily Smoothies with 48 grams of walnuts (from the American Diabetes Association recommended dosage). During the second investigation period, they received a walnut-free, but nutritionally comparable to Placebo Smoothie that was inspired by the taste of the walnut Smoothie. The order of the two study periods was chosen at random, so that some of the participants consumed the walnuts first, and other the Placebo. “Neither the volunteers nor the researchers know in which session they received the nutty Smoothie”, explains the BIDMC in a press release, the current study results.
Less feeling of Hunger after walnut consumption
As in previous observation studies, the subjects reported in the current study, that the week you were less hungry, if you got the walnut Smoothies. In the study using functional magnetic resonance imaging on the fifth day of the experiment could be established according to the scientists, there is a clear reason for this. The subjects showed after walnut consumption, when Viewing images with a tasty, more unhealthy food and less tasty, more healthy foods, a significantly increased activity in the brain region called the Insula.
Activation of the Insula
The activated area in the Insula is involved according to the researchers likely to be in the cognitive control of the decision for certain foods. The participants in the selection of dishes devoted more attention and opted for the healthier, less tasty options. The researchers emphasize that there is no ambiguity in relation to the results of the study.
“If the students eat walnuts, lights up this part of your brain, and we know that this agrees with the reported by the subjects: they are less hungry and feel more comfortable,” says study leader Christos Mantzoros.
Influence of food on brain activity
“We don’t think often about how what we eat affects the activity in our brain”, emphasized study first author Olivia M. Farr of the Department for endocrinology, Diabetes and metabolism at BIDMC. The current study show clearly that there is sense of well-being and reduced feeling of Hunger after walnut consumption also documents the activity of the brain. In other words, the recorded food direct neuro have cognitive consequences in the brain, which, in turn, have a significant influence on the eating habits.
In a next step, the researchers plan to test different amounts or dosages of walnuts, to see if more nuts lead to more brain activation or whether after a certain amount, a maximum effect is achieved. In addition, the neuro-cognitive effect of other food should be investigated. (fp)