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Eat Less to Beat Depression?

Eat Less to Beat Depression?

The next time you’re feeling hungry, stop and take inventory of how you feel. Sure, your stomach may be grumbling, but you also might notice an unusual calm.

Researchers have discovered that mice with high levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, had lower levels of depression and anxiety than mice that had free access to food. Ghrelin is released by the stomach when it’s empty to signal to the brain feelings of hunger.

The discovery excites researchers because in addition to the possibility of ghrelin’s role as a depression treatment, it also could be used to treat people with weight problems. For those who don’t eat much, ghrelin could help stimulate their appetites. For people who eat too much, creating a drug that blocks ghrelin’s hunger messages from getting to the brain could help curb their appetite.

When you’re hungry and focused on finding something to shut your stomach up with, it can be a very powerful force and even engulf feelings of depression or anxiety. Even though much more research is needed on this subject, it seems logical in the link between obesity and depression.

Do you notice a difference in your mood during when you’re hungry vs. when you’re not? How often do you practice mindful eating? Has it helped you in dealing with depression? [BBC News]

Posted: 6/16/08