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by Milos Pokimica ND

by Milos Pokimica ND

Learn About Nutrition

Hunger- Just a normal “emotion”

"Our entire evolution, we were like any other species on this planet, in constant hunger and in search of food. Overeating is an example of maladaptation."

For our entire evolution, we were like any other species on this planet in constant search of food. We were not obese but in a state of constant hunger and constant physical activity. This was the case for all of our ancestor species and that means the time period of 50 million years.

Technological progress that happened in the last couple of hundreds of years didn’t change our body physiology. It is an abrupt shift in evolutional terms. The feeling of constant fullness, on the other hand, is not natural, and it is an example of maladaptation. Our hominin ancestors and even homo sapiens dint have technology and food on every corner. Hunger is a normal feeling and it is a normal feeling for every animal. Because of our evolutionary conditioning and the way our brain works, people even if we are on a restrictive diet cannot deal with the feeling of constant hunger. We want to have a feeling of fullness and there is nothing we can do about it. So here comes caffeine, hunger suppressors of different kinds and medicine and surgeries, and so on.

In an evolutionary sense, this is protective behavior, because there is an extreme scarcity of food, bingeing as much as we possibly can is a good survival strategy. But what happens when we have an overabundance of food and we never had that abundance during our entire existence including our direct ancestor species. Our evolution didn’t begin with the modern human species we have just become a little smarter. Most of our genes and the body are the same especially in basic survival mechanisms than didn’t have to change for millions of years.

All of this would not have to be an issue but obesity is everything but a cosmetic issue. Most people do understand this but are unable to do anything about it because of fear of starvation. This fear is instinctive and it would override any logical behavior and in reality, we would always overeat. Weight gain comes slowly and in a prolonged period. Even if we gain just a little on a monthly basis, in time this little would be too much.

When an individual starts to have a restrictive diet the instinctive fear of starvation will have an impact on behavior and more than just in the psychological way. It will trigger different pathways in the brain that are responsible for appetite control, fear, reward mechanism (how much pleasure we get from pleasurable experiences), and most of our brain functioning. And this will not stop when we go off the diet but will continue as a never-ending story. It is a so-called “yo-yo” effect. Even since a Minnesota starvation experiment (1) scientists have been aware of the full scope of effects that a restrictive diet can have on someone’s behavior.

Minnesota Starvation Experiment
Minnesota Starvation Experiment

The way that the brain works is by “carrot and a stick” mechanism. Number one would be the avoidance of pain, and when pain is avoided pleasure-seeking comes into play.

carrotstick

The more pain the stronger behavioral changes. The problem is until the pain is removed the pleasure-seeking does not exist. For example, people in the Minnesota starvation experiment after a period of time couldn’t think of anything else except food. They could not take the pain of constant hunger. After they were given food the fear of starvation never went away and they were overeating and binging as much as they could and have become obese in a very short period. But this behavior exists just to a smaller extent in every day “normal” behavior. The most normal feeling of hunger had become much more pronounced because today we cannot deal with hunger because we have never experienced the real level of starvation. That is the reason why most of us cannot really cope well with dieting because we do not have tolerance for pain anymore. And even if we do, the normal response of the brain will be to go into survival avoidance of pain mode and cut off all pleasure-seeking behavior until the hunger is removed. It is not possible to be in a state of hunger and enjoy life. Especially because now we are removed from our natural environment and we have supernormal stimuli everywhere. Even a normal feeling of hunger is something that we cannot take as a normal feeling anymore.

Supernormal-stimuli
Supernormal Stimuli

Our behavior has been conditioned in such a way that our brain has down-regulated its pleasure response. For example, this happens to heroin addicts. Heroin is one of the strongest drugs in existence. It gives a lot of pleasure. But in time addicts will become more tolerable to the effects of it to some extent because their brain adapts. The same thing has happened in our modern society. Our brain has to some extent adapted to supernormal stimuli from food and hunger has become a much more pronounced feeling that it would be in normal animal species. Because of lack of scarcity food is not as a big reward as it used to be especially because of unnaturally high concentrations and combinations of energy sources that do not exist in nature.

Extracted sugar and extracted fat do not exist in nature and it is digested much quicker than in normal circumstances from whole food sources giving us a dopamine high. Especially the combination of sugar and fat (2). This combination does not exist in nature. Because of this dieting has become a form of addiction much more than it would be in a natural environment.

The result of this is that we have become obese and there is nothing we can do about it. Today nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese.

hormonal dopamine response
Hormonal Dopamine Response

Actually, even anorexia nervosa patients are victims of the same maladaptation. It is not a psychological issue it is conditioned behavior of pleasure and pain reward mechanisms. In anorexia patients, there is also malfunction but in the opposite direction. When they refeed themselves, their plasma leptin concentration will increase rapidly and reach roughly normal levels long before normal weight is achieved (3). Thus keeping them anorexic. They experience hunger much less than someone that does not have this condition. Excessive leptin production and its effect on the feeling of fullness could play a permissive role in the pathogenesis of this condition.

Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia Nervosa

Leptin is the satiety hormone, and it is opposed by the actions of another hormone named ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Both hormones act on the receptors in the brain to regulate appetite (4). When people think that their conscious mind will have an impact on their behavior I always asked them to do an experiment and try to keep their breath. After a minute or so there will be pain singling and the unconscious part of the brain will override our behavior. The signal is due to the fact that the brain is dying and no matter what, you have to take oxygen in or die. We will gasp for breath no matter how strong we resist. This is a reason that someone can drown in 20 seconds if panic kicks in. The same behavior changes affect our day to day behavior in regard to the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat.

Leptin Hormone Effects
Leptin Hormone Effects

The balance of these two hormones is necessary to achieve an overall energy balance in the body. In obesity, a decreased sensitivity to leptin occurs (5). This is a big problem that will result in a brain’s inability to detect satiety despite high energy stores in the rest of the body. Why does this happen? The basis for leptin resistance in obese human subjects is unknown. If leptin levels remain persistently raised due to overeating, there may be the downregulation of the leptin receptors and hence decreased sensitivity to the hormone. In humans, and actually in any other animal low leptin levels induced by a low-calorie diet resulted in a decrease in plasma leptin concentration triggering high levels of constant hunger. This may explain the high failure rate of dieting. Low leptin levels are likely to be a powerful stimulus to weight gain.

In the case of obesity, the standard regulatory system will tell the brain that we have fat deposits stored for an extended period and that we can endure little hunger. The problem is that we could never become fat due to scarcity, so we never developed an adaptation to the abundance of food. Our mind still thinks that if we do not eat all that we can we will starve to death in the upcoming drought.

Related Posts

  1. binge eating
  2. Malta Venus 4500 b.c.
  3. minnesota starvation experiment
  4. bmi index
  5. supernormal stimuli

Sources:

Passages selected from a book: “Go Vegan? Review of Science: Part 1” [Milos Pokimica]

  1. They starved so that others be better fed: remembering Ancel Keys and the Minnesota experiment. J Nutr. 2005 Jun; 135(6): 1347-52.
  2. Sugar and Fat Bingeing Have Notable Differences in Addictive-like Behavior doi: 10.3945/jn.108.097584
  3. The role of leptin in anorexia nervosa: clinical implications. Mol Psychiatry. 2007 Jan;12(1):23-35. Epub 2006 Oct 24.
  4. The role of leptin and ghrelin in the regulation of food intake and body weight in humans: a review. Obes Rev. 2007 Jan;8(1):21-34.
  5. Obesity and Leptin Resistance: Distinguishing Cause from Effect doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2010.08.002

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Are we omnivores, carnivores or herbivores? It’s important for animals to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat? Dr. Sofia Pineda Ochoa discusses this often misunderstood topic.

The first part of the transcript is included below for reference, and the full transcript (which is too long to have here) is available on our website, along with sources and credits, at this link: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores/

[The following transcript is an approximation of the audio in  video. To hear the audio and see the accompanying visuals, please play the video.]

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

Are humans herbivores, carnivores or omnivores? It’s very important for a given animal to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat?

When looking at a species to determine what they are in terms of carnivore, omnivore or herbivore, we can look at their behavior or we can look at their biology. From a behavioral standpoint, humans behave as omnivores because we observe many humans in their behavior eating a wide variety of both animal and plant-based foods. Biologically, however, from a physiologic and anatomic standpoint, it’s a different story.

Dr. Williams C. Roberts from the National Institutes of Health and Baylor University — who is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology and one of the most prominent cardiologists in the world with over 1,500 publications in peer reviewed medical journals — summarized our answer very nicely. He wrote:

“Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. The appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves. The teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat (for grinding). The intestinal tract of carnivores is short (3 times body length); that of herbivores, long (12 times body length). Body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; herbivores, by sweating. Carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping. Carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet. Thus, humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.”

That’s right. Humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores or omnivores — because omnivores, like bears and raccoons, actually retain most of the carnivorous characteristics, so that they are still able to digest and hunt their prey, and do so effectively.

[Remainder of transcript, along with sources and credits, available here: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores]

Are we omnivores, carnivores or herbivores? It’s important for animals to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat? Dr. Sofia Pineda Ochoa discusses this often misunderstood topic.

The first part of the transcript is included below for reference, and the full transcript (which is too long to have here) is available on our website, along with sources and credits, at this link: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores/

[The following transcript is an approximation of the audio in video. To hear the audio and see the accompanying visuals, please play the video.]

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

Are humans herbivores, carnivores or omnivores? It’s very important for a given animal to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat?

When looking at a species to determine what they are in terms of carnivore, omnivore or herbivore, we can look at their behavior or we can look at their biology. From a behavioral standpoint, humans behave as omnivores because we observe many humans in their behavior eating a wide variety of both animal and plant-based foods. Biologically, however, from a physiologic and anatomic standpoint, it’s a different story.

Dr. Williams C. Roberts from the National Institutes of Health and Baylor University — who is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology and one of the most prominent cardiologists in the world with over 1,500 publications in peer reviewed medical journals — summarized our answer very nicely. He wrote:

“Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. The appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves. The teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat (for grinding). The intestinal tract of carnivores is short (3 times body length); that of herbivores, long (12 times body length). Body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; herbivores, by sweating. Carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping. Carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet. Thus, humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.”

That’s right. Humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores or omnivores — because omnivores, like bears and raccoons, actually retain most of the carnivorous characteristics, so that they are still able to digest and hunt their prey, and do so effectively.

[Remainder of transcript, along with sources and credits, available here: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores]

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Are humans omnivores, carnivores or herbivores?

GoVeganWay 351K views September 4, 2021 12:32 am

How much is a human life worth? An innovative cancer therapy promises to save lives. But it is extremely expensive. Will the insurance companies pay for it? What is the manufacturer's return on investment? And do lobbyists drive up prices?

In 2018, the Kymriah gene therapy was approved in Europe. Immune cells are taken from the patient, genetically reprogrammed into cancer killer cells and returned to the patient as an infusion. The results of the Kymriah study only cover a period of 18 months. In 40 percent of patients, lymph gland cancer does not return during this time. It is not clear whether Kymriah has a long-term effect. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis offers the new therapy - it costs 370,000 Swiss francs per patient. Health insurance companies are not usually prepared to pay that much and are complaining about a lack of transparency. 

But the killer cells were not invented in the Novartis laboratories, but at a US university. When Professor Carl June started his research almost 30 years ago, no pharmaceutical company was interested. It was only thanks to funding from tax money and donations that he was able to develop Kymriah at all. After a story went around the world about a girl with leukemia whose cancer disappeared thanks to Kymriah, the pharmaceutical company contacted Novartis and secured exclusive marketing rights. To launch Kymriah on the market, Novartis funded the necessary clinical trials. It's not an isolated incident: Over 60% of newly approved medicines in the US are developed by small biotech companies or universities. Pharmaceutical companies today frequently act as capital providers, cooperating with universities or buying up biotech companies. 

A paradigm shift has taken place in the pharmaceutical industry: Whereas high drug prices used to be justified by research costs, the industry is now using the value of gained lifetime to argue its case. 

 -------------------------------------------------------------------

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How much is a human life worth? An innovative cancer therapy promises to save lives. But it is extremely expensive. Will the insurance companies pay for it? What is the manufacturer's return on investment? And do lobbyists drive up prices?

In 2018, the Kymriah gene therapy was approved in Europe. Immune cells are taken from the patient, genetically reprogrammed into cancer killer cells and returned to the patient as an infusion. The results of the Kymriah study only cover a period of 18 months. In 40 percent of patients, lymph gland cancer does not return during this time. It is not clear whether Kymriah has a long-term effect. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis offers the new therapy - it costs 370,000 Swiss francs per patient. Health insurance companies are not usually prepared to pay that much and are complaining about a lack of transparency.

But the killer cells were not invented in the Novartis laboratories, but at a US university. When Professor Carl June started his research almost 30 years ago, no pharmaceutical company was interested. It was only thanks to funding from tax money and donations that he was able to develop Kymriah at all. After a story went around the world about a girl with leukemia whose cancer disappeared thanks to Kymriah, the pharmaceutical company contacted Novartis and secured exclusive marketing rights. To launch Kymriah on the market, Novartis funded the necessary clinical trials. It's not an isolated incident: Over 60% of newly approved medicines in the US are developed by small biotech companies or universities. Pharmaceutical companies today frequently act as capital providers, cooperating with universities or buying up biotech companies.

A paradigm shift has taken place in the pharmaceutical industry: Whereas high drug prices used to be justified by research costs, the industry is now using the value of gained lifetime to argue its case.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

DW Documentary gives you knowledge beyond the headlines. Watch high-class documentaries from German broadcasters and international production companies. Meet intriguing people, travel to distant lands, get a look behind the complexities of daily life and build a deeper understanding of current affairs and global events. Subscribe and explore the world around you with DW Documentary.

Subscribe to:
DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39zufHfsuGgpLviKh297Q?sub_confirmation=1#

DW Documental (Spanish): https://www.youtube.com/dwdocumental
DW Documentary وثائقية دي دبليو: (Arabic): https://www.youtube.com/dwdocarabia

For more visit:
http://www.dw.com/en/tv/docfilm/s-3610
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Facebook:
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DW netiquette policy: https://p.dw.com/p/MF1G

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The power of the pharmaceutical companies | DW Documentary

GoVeganWay 648.6K views September 4, 2021 12:24 am

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