Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

3 p.m. slump? Why a sugar rush may not be the answer

From the 17 November Eureka News Alert

Protein, not sugar, stimulates cells keeping us thin and awake, new study suggests

A new study has found that protein and not sugar activates the cells responsible for keeping us awake and burning calories. The research, published in the 17 November issue of the scientific journal Neuron, has implications for understanding obesity and sleep disorders.

Wakefulness and energy expenditure rely on “orexin cells”, which secrete a stimulant called orexin/hypocretin in the brain. Reduced activity in these unique cells results in narcolepsy and has been linked to weight gain.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge compared actions of different nutrients on orexin cells. They found that amino acids – nutrients found in proteins such as egg whites – stimulate orexin neurons much more than other nutrients….

…”To combat obesity and insomnia in today’s society, we need more information on how diet affects sleep and appetite cells. For now, research suggests that if you have a choice between jam on toast, or egg whites on toast, go for the latter! Even though the two may contain the same number of calories, having a bit of protein will tell the body to burn more calories out of those consumed.”

 

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November 17, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News, Nutrition | , , , ,

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