Have you ever wondered why you seem to feel hungry when you’re drinking, or you’ve been out the night before? Well now, you don’t have to speculate any further. Scientists have discovered that drinking causes your brain to switch into starvation mode, causing you to feel hungry, even if you’ve eaten as much as you would normally.
Scientists found that in tests conducted on mice, alcohol caused the brain to switch into starvation mode, and this increased hunger and appetite. Alcohol was found to activate brain signals, which prompt the body to want to consume more food. The findings of the study, which was conducted by a team at the Francis Crick Institute, have been published in the Nature Communications journal.
The team from the Francis Crick Institute claims that it’s not just greed setting in or a lack of restraint when it comes to choosing hat you want to eat after drinking, but rather a response in your brain, which causes you to experience hunger, and subsequently, to eat more.
During the study, mice were exposed to significant doses of alcohol over a three-day period. The team noticed that levels of activity in neurons called AGRP increased significantly over the trial period. These neurons traditionally become more active when you’re hungry or facing starvation. The mice consumed more food than normal. However, when the activity of the AGRP neurons was blocked, the mice didn’t any more than usual, and this suggests that neuron activity is in fact the reason for overeating and increased hunger when we drink.
Study author, Denis Burdakov explained that it may be useful to gain an insight into the impact of alcohol on eating habits when tackling obesity and weight gain.
Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, from Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said that the findings are important because people should be aware of the impact of drinking on their bodies. Alcohol consumption alone contributes to an increased risk of more than 60 different illnesses, and it can be particularly dangerous when combined with overeating.