The neuroscience and drives for food, water, and salt

“Well-being requires the maintenance of energy stores, water, and sodium within permissive zones” (Lowell, 2019).

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Nice new review out that covers up-to-date many of the concepts around ad lib appetite. Talks a lot about specific neurons, and we have a LOT of neurons, like a trillion or something.

“Energy is so critical for survival that the body maintains backup fat stores in the event that food becomes unavailable.” Duh. Leptin leptin leptin leptin

Leptin tells your brain when fat stores are low, triggering hunger. Leptin resistance is confusing from an experimental design point of view, but is likely important. It is thought to function assymetrically, wherein low leptin strongly promotes hunger whereas high leptin only modestly promotes satiety. Check out Wiley’s book on this.

Fat + salt + starch = french fries. Easily overeaten.

Fat + salt + sugar = icing. Easily overeaten.


More players include POMC, a-MSH, AgRP, and GABA, but for thathead over to Patreon! Five bucks a month for access to all articles. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

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