stomach shrinkage following dieting

Jaimie Polson jaimiep at cortex.physiol.su.oz.au
Wed Jan 29 17:18:03 EST 1997

In <5cn27n$lke at sjx-ixn10.ix.netcom.com> newarktm at ix.netcom.com(O. ROYCE) writes:

>In <854518722.8599 at dejanews.com> clarkb at montgomerybell.com writes: 
>>I once read that it is a myth that the stomach shrinks following
>>dieting. The idea is that the feeling of fullness that one has
>following a
>>big meal is nothing but a perception that the brain uses to keep you
>>eating too much. In other words, the stomach isn't really "filled up",
>you just
>>feel like it is. 
>Following a period of lower food intake, the theory goes, the
>>appetite regulator in the brain gets set to a lower threshold (a sort
>>resetting of the biochemical thermostat in the food regulation
>>feedback loop).

>    Probably true but very reversible.

>    It is pretty obvious.  The stomach shrinks over a period of time
>when it is not swollen by too much food.  It will also increase in size
>readily over a shorter period of time if overfilled.  Have you ever
>noticed that
> when you overeat it is not so easy to fasten your belt.  But after a
>while you have no problem unless you keep eating.

>>Could anyone confirm that this is the case and perhaps give some more
>>details of the mechanism? A skeptical wrestling coach doubts this
>>theory, but I'm sure that I did not dream up this idea.

>    Consider what happens when a person has a large part of his stomach
>removed during an ulcer operation.  (90% actually).  It only takes a
>few weeks for the remainder of the stomach to stretch to accommodate
>the same amount of food as it did before the operation.


I'm not convinced.  First, regarding your last point.  I have a relative
who had part of their stomach removed a couple of years ago.  He still
cannot eat large meals, and often moans about having to eat small
amounts more frequently.

Regarding the tightening of the belt.  I think that is partly due to a feeling
of discomfort.  And perhaps the abdominal muscles relax after a meal and this,
combine with the uncomfortable feeling makes a person loosen their belt.

I have read that the vagus nerve conveys the feeling of satiety (fullness).
Furhter, some peptide (I think CCK, but not sure) is released to
activate the vagal receptors in teh stomach.

Hard evidence anyone?

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