Dieting may start cannibalism in Brain: Study

Those who have tried extensive dieting may know that there are moments when you feel so hungry that you can even eat your limb, if allowed to painlessly.

Now a recent study shows that, when you have the above feeling, your brain feels the same way. But unlike you who keeps conscious control on self to take a bite on your hand; when starved of food, brain cells actually eat each other.

To summarize: Dieters are often doomed to failure because when starved of food, brain cells actually eat each other.

The study says that this cannibalism (the phenomenon found in biological word, where specie is not averse to eating members of the same specie for survival) increases appetite and hence could help explain why so many diets are doomed to failure.

How the researchers arrived at the study conclusion:

The US researchers studied a phenomenon called autophagy, in which cells “clean” their interiors by eating debris that accumulates over time. The experiments conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York showed that the lack of food triggers similar autophagy in brain cells crucial to appetite control. As a result of this autophagy, fats are released, which results in higher levels of a powerful brain chemical that stimulates appetite.

To help understand the common Joe, the researchers put this simple explanation: The whole process of brain cells eating each other is triggered by hunger. Hunger triggers the emergency breaking down of fat stores; which signals to the brain that there is a shortage of food and it starts a process, wherein brain cells start eating each other. In simple, this is brains attempt to survive.