We love changing our meals every now and then. Don’t we? Some days we eat more protein, some days we keep it light. Then there are days when we indulge in all things decadent and sinful. It all depends on our cravings, right? But have you ever wondered what is the science behind those cravings?! A study states that the answer lies in our gut. That’s right. A recent study, conducted by researchers at University of Pittsburgh, found that “the microbes in animals’ guts influence what they choose to eat, making substances that prompt cravings for different kinds of foods.” The findings of this study, conducted on mice, were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“While the idea of the microbiome affecting your behaviour may sound far-fetched, it’s no surprise for scientists. Your gut and your brain are in constant conversation, with certain kinds of molecules acting as go-betweens. These by-products of digestion signal that you’ve eaten enough food or maybe that you need certain kinds of nutrients. But microbes in the gut can produce some of those same molecules, potentially hijacking that line of communication and changing the meaning of the message to benefit themselves”, the study reads.
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In this study, the researchers found that mice microbiomes had different levels of tryptophan in their blood. For the unversed, tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps maintain body’s neurotransmitters. The study says that these amino acids were present even before they were given options to choose different diet. However, tryptophan is stated to be just one thread of a complicated web of communication.
“There are likely dozens of signals that are influencing feeding behaviour on a day-to-day basis,” the researchers explain. But the study needs more research on humans for the team to measure the importance of microbes in determining diet.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.