Animals

What Does Starvation Do To The Body?

We all know what hunger feels like, but what happens to our bodies if we stop eating? What exactly is the science behind starvation?

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How Long Can a Person Survive Without Food? (Scientific American)
"The duration of survival without food is greatly influenced by factors such as body weight, genetic variation, other health considerations and, most importantly, the presence or absence of dehydration. For total starvation in healthy individuals receiving adequate hydration, reliable data on survival are hard to obtain."

The Psychology of Hunger (APA)
"In November 1944, 36 young men took up residence in the corridors and rooms of the University of Minnesota football stadium. They were not members of the football team. Rather, they were volunteers preparing for a nearly yearlong experiment on the psychological and physiological effects of starvation. Known as the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, the study was a project of the newly established Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene at the University of Minnesota, an interdisciplinary research institution with an emphasis on nutrition and human biology."

Brain Foods: The Effects of Nutrients on Brain Function (NIH)
"It has long been suspected that the relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes and emotions. Newly described influences of dietary factors on neuronal function and synaptic plasticity have revealed some of the vital mechanisms that are responsible for the action of diet on brain health and mental function. Several gut hormones that can enter the brain, or that are produced in the brain itself, influence cognitive ability."