Study shows endocannabinoids may signal healthiness of your diet

Published Aug 20, 2019 01:00 p.m. ET
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Since the legalization of marijuana, there has been some research conducted on the benefits of cannabis on the human body. As the cannabis industry flourishes, there have been many products on the market that are infused with cannabis by-products. Some of these products have become a part of people’s daily diet.

Our body is made up of nerves that work with different parts of the body. There are signals between our digestive system and our brain that controls how and when we consume food. However, we are not aware of the effect of eating a high-calorie diet has on the molecular mechanisms and obesity in the body.

New Research on eating healthy with cannabis

A team of researchers conducted a mouse model to find out about the effect of the endocannabinoid and eating habits. The study revealed that the overactive signaling of endocannabinoids in the gut causes overeating by preventing the gut and brain from signaling satiation.

The body produces its own cannabis-like endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids are used to regulate some processes in the body, such as the immune system. The endocannabinoids like cannabinoids found in cannabis can increase your eating habits.

The research on mice found that there were active reactions of endocannabinoids at the cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the gut of the mice when they were given fatty and sugary food for sixty (60) days. This high activity of the endocannabinoids prevented the satiation amino acids from signaling the body to stop eating. Therefore, the mice continued to overeat.

Findings of Research

Nicholas DiPatrizio, assistant professor of biomedical sciences in the UCR School of Medicine stated that we would be better able to treat obesity if we could make drugs to help the cannabinoids CB1 receptors signal the release of satiation peptides to prevent over-eating.

Furthermore, DiPatrizio stated that a previous research with a rat model showed that eating dietary fats stimulates the production of endocannabinoids in the body. This research is crucial at a time where so many more people are eating fattier foods. More research done by other scientists shows that the levels of endocannabinoids in obese persons are higher when high energy foods are consumed regularly. These researches have allowed researchers to understand the endocannabinoid system a little better, but the research does not determine if the endocannabinoids control the release of satiation amino acids.

Attempts were also made by researchers to target the CB1 receptors, but it has failed because of side effects. The new study from DiPatrizio’s lab suggests the possibility of targeting the endocannabinoids in the gut to benefit persons suffering from obesity.

Significance of Research

Soon, there will be more research on the function of the endocannabinoids on other molecules in the gut and how it affects metabolism. The research is limited to mice subjects, and so researchers will also need to conduct clinical trials on humans to determine if the research is valid. Scientists may have to focus on the cannabinoids such as cannabidiol in cannabis to determine if the result is similar. That is because the cannabinoids in cannabis through the stimulation of the CB1 receptors in the body may be able to regulate the release of satiation amino acids, which can only be determined by further research.

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