Stress Hormone Promotes Preference For High-Calorie Food


Stress Hormone Shown To Promote Preference For High-Calorie FoodPrevious research has shown that when people feel pressures at work or experience other life stressors, they have a tendency to snack more, and the foods they choose are often high in fat and calories.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have recently uncovered one of the mechanisms behind this response to stress: the gut hormone ghrelin.

In a study of mice, scientists showed that stressed-out rodents that were genetically modified to block the production of ghrelin had no cravings for fatty foods, when compared to normal mice.

“Our findings show that ghrelin signaling is crucial to this particular behavior and that the increase in ghrelin which occurs as a result of chronic stress is probably behind these food-reward behaviors,” said study author Jeffrey Zigman, M.D.

The researchers also found that the hormone has an anti-depressant effect, which, combined with its tendency to induce cravings, may have been a useful survival advantage in early human history. However, they added that the benefits of ghrelin make it difficult to target in potential therapies to treat or prevent obesity.

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.