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Low blood glucose affects food cravings

A small but interesting study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation reports that we lose our ability to control desire and feel an increased urge to eat when our blood glucose levels drop. The researchers from Yale University School of Medicine and the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine showed 14 healthy participants high and low calorie foods (from cake and ice-cream to tofu, fruit and vegetables) and non-food images and measured how seeing these images related to their desire for food and their brain activity under varying blood glucose conditions. Using scans to detect brain activity following a drop in participants’ BGLs, they then compared the results of the scans to the participants’ stated desires to eat different foods. They found that small drops in blood glucose activated the region of the brain that produces a desire to eat, while adequate levels of blood glucose activated the region of the brain that controls impulses.

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