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Revista Cubana de Investigaciones Biomédicas

versión On-line ISSN 1561-3011


CORTES ROMERO, Celso Enrique et al. Stress and cortisol: implications on food intake. Rev Cubana Invest Bioméd [online]. 2018, vol.37, n.3, pp. 1-15. ISSN 1561-3011.

Behaviors such as the search and consumption of food are aimed to obtain the energy substrates needed to sustain diverse organic functions required to guarantee the survival of an individual. The alimentary behavior has two regulatory systems: the homeostatic system, located in the hypothalamus and the hedonic system, represented by the cerebral reward system. These systems are modulated by both stimulatory (orexigenic) and inhibitory (anorexigenic) signals of appetite. Under chronic stress conditions, the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which regulates the plasma cortisol concentration, will lead to the establishment of different mechanisms that promote the ingestion of food with high energy density, which are considered as powerful disruptors of appetite regulation processes, a condition potentially capable of promoting the development of compulsive food search behavior, a disruption in the energy balance and obesity. Repeated consumption of appetizing foods represents an opportunity for self-medication aimed at stress relief, providing a condition or opportunity for comfort. Epidemiological data suggests a strong link between glucocorticoids and metabolic syndrome. The relationship between chronic stress, cortisol and high food intake has visceral adiposity and insulin resistance as predisposing factors of metabolic disruption with important consequences to the health status of humans. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the implications of stress and cortisol on food intake.

Palabras clave : cortisol; stress; food intake; obesity; reward system.

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