Obesity and Omega-3s Reduce Appetite Essay

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Appetite, by definition, is a term used to describe ones natural desire for food. It differs from hunger and satiety, and it is affected by a host of neural, hormonal and physical factors that may vary between individuals. This essay sets out to explain how these factors affect the appetite. In doing so the essay will explore the different regions of the brain (and the body) involved in its regulation and control, and the ways in which these areas may be pharmacologically and surgically manipulated to control the appetite itself.

Appetite can be described as ones instinctual desire for food. The smell and sight of food can trigger thoughts that lead to an increased flow of gastric juices in both the mouth and stomach. Sometimes however, …show more content…

There are several key hormones that play a part in reducing or increasing appetite. Some of these hormones include Ghrelin, Leptin, Insulin, Amylin, Obestatin and Triodothyroxine. All are essential in the control of body weight through their short and long term actions.

Following the ingestion of carbohydrates and proteins, insulin is released from pancreatic islet cells. Whilst the brain is not insulin dependent, the arcuate nucleus contains protein receptors that respond to insulin (as well as Leptin)[7]. As insulin inhibits NPY/AgRP-secreting neurons and activates POMC-releasing neurons, it reduces the appetite and as a result regulates body weight. This is backed up even further by scientific claims that insulin resistance is linked to obesity, and type II diabetes can be associated with a loss in insulin regulation[8].

Modern scientific research has also linked the hormone leptin to appetite and feeding behavours. Leptin is a hormone (produced by the fat cells) that naturally suppresses the appetite. In general, the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce. When working efficiently, Leptin signals to the brain to indicate if energy stores (such as fat) are adequate or inadequate. It does so in the arcuate nucleus by inhibiting stimulatory neurons by stimulating inhibitory fibers. It appears it is possible however for the arcuate nucleus to become

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