A research conducted at UT Southwestern Medical Center outlines reasons behind the feeling of thirst amongst individuals. The research shows that a certain hormone in the human body triggers the feeling of thirst by acting on the brain and elevating the desire to drink water. These hormones trigger this urge in response to specific forms of nutrient stresses that cause dehydration in the body. In tests and experiments earlier conducted on mice, it was found that the liver hormone FGF21 replaces the desire of the brain for alcohol and sugar with a desire for drinking water.
Premise of Research
The production of FGF21 inside the liver due to the exposure to sugar and blood was already known, but the researchers have also found the mechanism of prevention of dehydration. This happens when the hormone travels through the blood stream to reach the hypothalamus inside the brain and triggers thirst. The pathway traced by FGF21 is unique and different from the thirst classical pathway of the kidneys. It was observed during the research that all kinds of mice, normal as well as the ones that couldn’t produce FGF21 hormone, consumed same amounts of water when given a normal chow diet. However, a diet with low carbs and high fat made normal mice drink more water while there no changes in the drinking patterns of mice that could not produce FGF21 hormone.
Reducing Alcohol Consumption
The research could be an important standpoint to see the response of hormones in humans. Furthermore, the researchers stated that FGF21 could be used as an agent to alleviate alcohol consumption in humans.