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Lack of sleep encourages junk food and junk food makes depression … – Futura-Sciences

If we do not have sleep, we tend to eat more. And more inclined, according to German researchers, to give in to the temptation of junk food. It hurts our physical health. But also for our mental health. Indeed, British researchers today make the link between junk food and depression.

the lack of sleep encourages us to nibble. This is not a novelty. But a recent study by researchers at the University of Cologne (Germany) tells us that it concerns fat or sweet foods that we prefer to use. In short, bad sleep causes bad food.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers measured the levels of ghrelin in the blood of volunteers who participated in their experiment. Ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates our appetite. The researchers found that the ghrelin concentrations were higher in the morning – with the same meal the night before – in patients who had not slept overnight than in others.

Cerebral MRIs also showed an increase in activity of the hypothalamus and amygdala after sleep deprivation. The first regulates the appetite and the second is linked to the reward circuit. The result was that especially volunteers with sleep disorders were interested when they were offered early in the morning to eat chocolate bars or crisps. What to do a bit more the link between lack of sleep and obesity.

Junk food increases the depressive symptoms

And perhaps also, weave an indirect link between lack of sleep and depression. Because another study, this time performed on the Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) warns us that junk food increases our risk of depression.


These results have a significant clinical potential.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed the data collected by 11 studies with a total of more than 100,000 people of all ages, sexes, ethnicities and living in different countries. People with a high cholesterol, saturated fat and carbohydrate content were on average 1.4 times more likely than others depressive symptoms. Their explanation: these foods are the cause of chronic inflammation of our brains.

"These findings have significant clinical potential for the treatment of depressionsays Dr. Steven Bradburn. Changing a patient's diet can be an interesting alternative to medication. An alternative that only presents side effects positive. However, it must be emphasized that our results show an association rather than a causality. Further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of dietary modulation in the treatment of depression. "

What to remember

  • Without sleep, we tend to give in to the appeal to junk food.
  • The result is an increase in the level of appetite stimulating hormones on the one hand and the activity of the hypothalamus and amygdala on the other.
  • When we eat badly, our risk of depressive symptoms increases by about 40%.
  • For better physical and mental health, it is better to avoid junk food.

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Depression, symptoms and treatment? Depression is an increasingly common disease that should not be confused with normal moments of sadness during sad events in life. Statements with Virginie Lacombe, museographer and project manager at the Cité des Sciences et de l & # 39; Industry.


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