For the sensation of hunger and satiety and control of appetite are responsible selected areas of the brain that work closely with neuropetides and hormones.Nutritional behaviors depend on the instinct associated with survival, but also on environmental factors.So, read what affects our appetite.

Recent research shows that the appetite and preferences of food are affected not only by well-known mechanisms, but also by genetic mutations and glial cells in the brain, which have not been associated with eating behaviors until now.


Read also: Tricking the brain – or how to satisfy your hunger by eating less


Nutritional behaviors, what determines the appetite control?

The mechanisms of feeling hunger and the level of appetite are conditioned by the original instincts associated with survival.Survival depends on the current supply of food to cover metabolic needs and storage of certain amounts of energy in the form of adipose tissue, which are a reserve for the smooth functioning of metabolism during periods of food shortage.Nutritional behaviors are stimulated by many factors

  • external factors, such as cultural and social factors, stress, temperature, appearance, smell and taste of food;
  • as well as hunger, thirsts controlled by neuropeptides, adipose and gastrointestinal hormones, as well as hedonic feelings associated with the pleasure of eating.


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The cooperation of the brain and the endocrine system is of key importance for the level of appetite and individual eating behavior.The task of the brain is to recognize the amount of energy stores in the body and adjust the amount of food intake to the amount of calories consumed by the body.The control of appetite are affected:


The hypothalamus is an almond sized structure located inside the brain that is responsible for many vital functions, includingfor controlling your appetite.The hypothalamus receives signals transmitted through specialized proteins and hormones, and on their basis regulates the amount of energy supplied with food and expended by the body.Proper concentrations of proteins and hormones are responsible for our nutritional behaviors, causing hunger and the need to reach for food.


Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, whose concentration in the blood increases after eating food.Together with leptin, he is responsible for information about the energy state of the body.The level of insulin in the blood is high in the situation of a positive energy balance and decreases when the amount of available energy decreases.High insulin levels suppress the urge to eat.


Check also: 10 products supporting insulin sensitivity



Leptin is another hormone responsible for nutritional behavior.Produced by fat cells, it is responsible for inducing satiety and inhibiting the production and secretion of neuropeptide Y – one of the most potent appetite and appetite stimulants.Leptin activity leads to the activation of lipolysis, i.e. the breakdown of fat tissue and increasing energy expenditure of the body.


Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates the hypothalamus to induce hunger.It participates in long-term energy balance regulation and has the strongest appetite stimulating effect of all peptides known to date.Ghrelin is counterproductive to leptin.


Melanocortins-3 and -4 are protein receptors located in the hypothalamus, they participate in the control of food frequency.The low concentration of these receptors induces nutritional behaviors leading to overeating and excessive body weight gain.

reward center in the brain

The reward center plays a key role in generating positive feelings related to the consumption of selected food products.Some foods cause increased release of dopamine, which is combined with a feeling of pleasure while eating.Appetite for these products can be associated with over consumption and food for positive experiences, not to satisfy hunger.


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