Exercise makes the brain more responsive to food cues

summary: Exercise appears to amplify the brain’s response to food cues, a new study reports.

Researchers observed that running increased the reactivity of specific brain regions related to attention, reward anticipation and memory. These changes occurred independently of global changes in cerebral blood flow.

This fresh insight may advance our understanding of the complex relationship between exercise, appetite and food intake.

Important facts:

  1. Running increased brain reactivity to food cues independently of changes in cerebral blood flow.
  2. Participants reported feeling less hungry after exercise, even though their brains were more responsive to food stimuli.
  3. This study expands our understanding of how exercise affects appetite and food intake and may provide potential strategies for managing unhealthy weight gain.

sauce: Loughborough University

A single session of exercise increased responsiveness to food cues in parts of the brain associated with attention, reward anticipation, and episodic memory, according to a study published in . mapping the human brain.

Researchers at the Universities of Loughborough, Bristol, Nottingham and Leicester in the UK and Waseda University in Japan have investigated the effects of running on blood flow in the brain and how it affects brain activity in relation to appetite. We investigated whether it would affect

They found that changes in participants’ responses to visual food cues occurred independently of global changes in blood flow in the brain.

How much we eat is influenced by our brain systems, which are sensitive to changes in our bodies and our eating environment.

Previous studies have shown that a single exercise, such as running, can temporarily suppress appetite. However, the extent to which exercise affects dietary potential is not fully understood.

Food stimulus reactivity is how our bodies respond to food. This is how we react (both physically and psychologically) to the sight and smell of food, for example. Food reactivity can affect our appetite and ultimately how much we eat.

The researchers wanted to investigate whether exercise-induced changes in blood flow in the brain affected people’s responses to food. These changes can be captured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI scans help assess what is happening in the brain by detecting small changes in blood flow.

In this study, 23 men underwent fMRI scans before and after running or resting for 60 minutes. During the scan, I was asked to look at three types of images, ranging from low energy density food items such as fruits and vegetables, to high energy density food items such as chocolate, to non-food items such as furniture.

The researchers found that exercise suppressed hunger in participants while increasing the reactivity of multiple parts of the brain to food cues. Using another type of fMRI, the researchers also detected changes in blood flow in the brain after exercise, but these changes did not appear to affect food cue-responsive signals.

Dr. Alice Thackray, senior researcher in exercise metabolism at Loughborough University School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), is the lead author of the study.

she said: “Our findings support that people feel less hungry during and shortly after an exercise session, providing insight into the short-term effects of exercise on the brain’s appetite response.”

“Additional research is needed to determine the implications of these findings, but we do know that the brain plays an important role in regulating appetite and food intake.

“This study is part of an exciting collaboration that we plan to develop further as we continue to explore how exercise and appetite interact, including their effects on central (brain) responses. ”

David Stensel, Professor of Exercise Metabolism at SSEHS, added: This study shows that exercise can alter the brain’s response to food cues.

“This study provides a starting point for further research to more accurately and comprehensively characterize the appetite response to exercise. This will allow us to better understand the role of exercise in preventing and managing unhealthy weight gain.” .”

Dr Elanor Hinton of the University of Bristol said: “This research began as a small pilot collaboration between his two NIHR BRCs in Loughborough and Bristol. I am happy that it has grown into a plan to do. mapping the human brainwhere we shared our respective expertise.

“Further publications from this fruitful collaboration are currently pending, demonstrating the value of collaboration across our research groups.”

About this exercise and news of neuroscience research

author: Judy Wing
sauce: Loughborough University
contact: Judy Wing – Loughborough University
image: Image credited to Neuroscience News

Original research: open access.
“Investigating the acute effects of running on cerebral blood flow and food cue reactivity in healthy young men using functional magnetic resonance imaging” (Alice E. Thackray et al.) mapping the human brain


Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Investigate the Acute Effects of Running on Cerebral Blood Flow and Food Cue Responsiveness in Healthy Young Men

Strenuous exercise suppresses appetite and alters food stimulus responsiveness, but the extent to which exercise-induced changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) affect blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signaling during an appetite-related paradigm remains unclear. It is unknown whether to give

In this study, we investigated the effects of abrupt running on visual food cue reactivity and investigated whether such responses were influenced by CBF variability. In a randomized crossover design, 23 men (mean ± standard deviation: 24 ± 4 years, 22.9 ± 2.1 kg/m)2) completed fMRI scans before and after 60 min of running (68% ± 3% peak oxygen uptake) or rest (control).

For CBF assessment, 5-min pseudo-continuous arterial spin-labeling fMRI scans were performed during four consecutive repeat acquisitions after exercise/rest. BOLD-fMRI was acquired before and 28 min after exercise/rest during the food cue reactivity task.

Food cue reactivity analyzes were performed with and without CBF adjustment. Subjective appetite ratings were assessed before, during, and after exercise/rest.

Motor CBF was higher in gray matter, posterior insula, amygdala/hippocampus regions and lower in medial orbitofrontal cortex and dorsal striatum than controls (main effects trial) p≤ .018). No trial-to-trial interactions for CBF were identified (p≥ .087).

Exercise moderately to significantly reduced subjective appetite ratings (Cohen’s d= 0.53–0.84; p≤ .024), increased food cue reactivity in the paracingulate gyrus, hippocampus, precuneus cortex, frontal pole and posterior cingulate gyrus. Consideration of CBF variation did not significantly alter the detection of exercise-induced BOLD signal changes.

Rapid running caused time-independent global changes in CBF and increased CBF-independent food cue reactivity in areas involved in attention, reward anticipation, and episodic memory.

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