After a long night chugging beer and everything with alcohol, the last stop before we reach home would probably be a fastfood store. We wobbly reach the counter asking for a pizza, burger, tacos, fries or anything greasy. We feel like we haven't eaten for days! But really, we're just awful drunk.
Waking up with a throbbing headache and a bloated gut, some of us taste regret in our mouth. Why does this happen? Particularly, why do we seek for food after intoxicating our selves? Experts say, we can blame our brain.
A new study
published in Nature Communications said consumption of alcohol activates the brain's Agrp neurons, which promote hunger. Found in both mice and humans, Agrp stimulation causes rapid overeating, "even in the absence of energy shortage", the authors explain.
In the study, mice were injected with alcohol for three days. For control purposes, researchers injected the mice with saline three days before and three days after the alcohol injection.
Experts provided the same food and water for the mice during the whole experiment.
Results showed that the mice injected with alcohol consumed more food, compared to the days they were injected with saline. Experts concluded that alcohol cause "false starvation alarms" in the brain.
Meaning, it may make the mice feel that they are hungry even though they are getting calories from the alcohol itself. These results are valuable to human behavior when drinking because mice and men have the same types of neurons in the brain.
However, experts emphasized that the study may have limitations. Mice were injected with alcohol, and no one consumes alcohol by injection. Researchers said that the injection may cause stress to subjects, which could be a factor for overeating.