This article is from the In-Depth Report The Science of Weight Loss
60-Second Mind

More Stress Means Less Eating

Recent studies on a hormone receptor in the brain called CRF2 brought new hope for a solution to obesity. But research in the Journal of Neuroscience cautions: while CRF2 cuts appetite, it also increases stress.

Here's a pop quiz. What do speeches, fires and first dates have in common?

Hmm, well, they all tend to cause stress that suppresses our appetite. The last thing on our mind as we run from a burning building is that yummy donut we left on the counter.

Our anxiety is connected to hormones in the brain called corticotropin-releasing factors or CRFs, which regulate stress and appetite.

Recently the drug industry, desperate to uncover a solution to obesity, say they found a type of this hormone called CRF2 that cuts hunger without added stress. Sounds like a dream huh?

Well it was, until a group of scientists took a closer look. Their study in the Journal of Neuroscience concludes that activating CRF2 in rats cut their appetites in half, no doubt - BUT the rats ate less is because they were totally stressed out. They nervously self-groomed, licking so much they often knocked themselves over.

Seems stress and appetite is a ying yang combo. Not surprising, ask anyone who's suffered a broken heart they’ll say the only good thing about being dumped is that easy 10 pounds we lose.

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