The leading food manufacturer is working on creating foods that can trick our stomachs into feeling full with less consumption.
Researchers from Nestle are working on creating foods that trick the stomach into feeling full earlier or for longer. Intended as a fat-fighting food to target obese people, it will register in our ‘gut brain’ (a network of nerve cells in the stomach) a feeling of fullness with less food, which in turn communicates this state to the brain, halting the urge to eat any more.
By communicating through neural signals, the gut brain constantly sends messages to the primary big brain to indicate hunger or the feeling of being satiated. Scientists hope that by developing satiety-inducing foods which will target key neural signals sent by the gut brain, they would be able to help people curb their hunger and remain healthy.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The body is in a state of continual hunger—its default position. But several factors work to curtail the hunger instinct, such as the presence of food in the digestive tract, or the flow of nutrients in the blood. When these satiety factors dissipate, the body again demands food.
In the quest to balance hunger and satiety, the gut brain and big brain communicate via neural signals. When food enters the stomach, the stomach stretches, and the gut brain sends a neural message to the big brain. The gut brain also knows when there are nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulating the release of peptides into the blood and resulting in another message to the brain.