Walnuts help to control appetite scientists

Walnuts are known for its miraculous health properties. For example, only 20 grams of nuts a day may reduce the risk of premature death and a whole bunch of diseases. Now, researchers from the Medical center Beth Israel in the US have shown that walnuts can protect a person from overeating as contributing to the emergence of feelings of satiety. The secret is in the neurocognitive effects on the brain, according to vesti.ru.

To determine exactly what the trigger mechanism in the brain of people walnuts, Farr and her colleagues invited ten volunteers with obesity. They conducted two tests, each of which lasted five days, so they placed the participants test right in the hospital complex, to closely track their food intake.


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During the first five days, the volunteers consumed each day cocktails containing 48 grams of walnuts is a daily intake for an adult recommended by the American diabetes Association (ADA). The other five days, the participants received so-called placebo-cocktails that do not contain walnuts, but just as nutritious and have the appropriate flavor.

The order of the two “sessions” were accidental, that is, some participants first consumed a nutty cocktails, and then a placebo, the other – on the contrary. Neither the volunteers nor the researchers themselves did not know who got certain kinds of cocktails. While scientists are constantly questioned about their hunger, and they each admitted that saturated faster when they were given cocktails with walnuts.

On the last day of each “session” the researchers conducted the volunteers functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During the brain scan experts showed the participants images from the “forbidden” foods (burgers and desserts) and useful (various vegetables) and pictures of neutral objects (stones, flowers).

The fMRI results showed the following: when the volunteers saw the pictures of the coveted “unhealthy”, they have increased activity in a brain area called the insular lobe. She is responsible for the formation of consciousness, and plays a role in the formation of emotions.

The most interesting that after a nutty cocktail of activity in this area was less than after taking a placebo. In other words, tasty, but unhealthy foods, participants wanted not so much.


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According to experts, the islet, the proportion is likely involved in cognitive control – this means that the people involved pay more attention to food choices and choose, though less desirable, but more nutritious food.

Now the researchers plan to conduct tests of different portions of walnuts to find out whether their number is on the work of the islet fraction and is there any limit after which it no longer becomes an even more active.

In addition, the researchers intend to find other products, as well as natural hormones, which can act on the human brain in a similar way and help people control appetite. These activities can lead to the creation of new methods of treatment and prevention of obesity, experts believe.

Scientific article on the results of the study are published in the professional journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.