Archive for August 13th, 2011

Remember when Mom told you to chew your food? Now evidence suggests extra chewing may reduce the amount eaten and result in weight loss.

Earlier studies showed different results associated with chewing and obesity. Some found that eating fast and chewing less increased weight while other studies showed no relationship.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that chewing food forty times instead of the typical fifteen caused participants to eat nearly twelve percent fewer calories. Researchers compared differences in how fourteen obese young men and sixteen of normal weight chewed a typical breakfast. They also compared the amount of food eaten, blood sugar levels, and certain appetite regulating hormones.

The study found a connection between the amount of chewing and several hormones that tell the brain when to eat and when to stop. Increased chewing lowered the blood level of ghrelin. This hormone, secreted in the stomach especially when one is hungry, stimulates appetite.

They also observed higher levels of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone secreted in the duodenum. CCK stimulates the gallbladder to secrete bile into the intestines to break down fat and into the pancreas to release pancreatic digestive enzymes. CCK also seems to affect appetite centers in the brain to let the body know it has enough food for now.

Obese people may have lower levels of CCK and therefore reduced feelings of fullness that make losing weight more difficult. In the future, ghrelin, CCK, and perhaps other hormones may become a breakthrough in helping individuals to control their appetites. Meanwhile, chew your food more than usual. It won’t hurt, and who knows, you may lose weight.

Reference: www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-chewing-weihgtlotre762607-20110729,0,2793999.story

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