Could gut hormones be the answer to cut calories, stop smoking and alcohol? A new study suggests that maybe indeed the case. Gut hormones are what causes us to feel full after a meal and could be a way to lessen or urge to eat more. This isn’t only true for food, it could also be true for tobacco and alcohol. Researchers at the Imperial College of London are looking at whether adding these hormones could reduce people’s need for these cravings like the ones I just mentioned.
Dr. Tony Goldstone, the lead researcher on this study, found that two hormones in particular: Glucagon-like peptide-1 and ghrelin, produced in the stomach may play a role in making an individual crave something. Researchers are also citing that these hormones not only may have an influence on appetite but also that these same brain circuits are involved in addiction.
There are already some drugs being tested to see if they can either dampen the effects of these hormones and if that will curb some addictive behavior. My take on all this is is that addictive behaviors are involved, and it may not be solved by simply muting the effects of hormones in the gut. With that said, it’s important to maintain optimal gut health to avoid dealing with issues similar to the one mentioned in the research I wrote about in this article. Every day we are finding how the gut is impacting our lives, and it’s important to understand that we can alter our lives pretty dramatically simply by proactively managing our gut health. I am not going to claim that you will overcome addictions like drugs or alcohol by just fixing your gut, but you can manage a lot of your cravings when it comes to food, have better focus and sleep better.
If you have any questions on gut health or need more guidance on maintaining it, then please do hesitate in contacting my office for an appointment.
Dr. Shah, MD