nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

STUDY: Diet Now, Binge Later. Stressed Mice Do It.

This study makes me anxious.  But...that's what causes the binge eating, assuming I was a dieter earlier in life.  So, I'm trapped.

Wait a minute.  The study, in the Journal of Neuroscience (Dec 1), is looking at how mice cope with nutrition after living a calorie-restricted diet.  They become vulnerable to binge eating when stressed, more so than mice who had not been calorie-restricted.

I hate those meeces to pieces!

[You stress a mouse by not changing their litter, changing cages, and the like.  Mice tend to get neurotic from that kind of thing.]

So, if I keep my weight down with a restrictive diet, then I'll gobble like a hog if the car breaks down?  I'm better off just eating hearty now to keep from sensitizing my future craving for food?

1.  The mice were put on a 25% calorie-deficit diet.  That's a lot.  Most humans can only handle 10%.
2.  The mice lost 10-15% of body weight.  That's about 40 pounds for the average overweight American.  No wonder their physiology changed.
3.  The mice were diet-restricted for only 3 weeks.


4.  Humans are not mice.

I can't see the data in the study, so here's just a quote from the abstract:
"In examination of long-term behavioral consequences, previously restricted mice showed a significant increase in binge eating of a palatable high-fat food during stress exposure. Orexigenic hormones, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and orexin, were significantly elevated in response to the high-fat diet only in previously restricted mice."
Bottom line:  no useful guidance for living in the real world.

If there's any take-home message, it's that dieting does more than just drop pounds.  In fact, the whole idea of eating less than our daily requirement may be unbalances other behavioral and nutritional aspects of fueling our bodies,

...if we're anything like mice.

Doc D

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