Wonder why you’re still hungry after eating a meal? There could be an essential ingredient missing from your food.

Researchers recently discovered that tanycyte brain cells are responsible for our feeling hungry and until they’re triggered by amino acids, especially these two:

  1. Arginine
  2. Lysine

The tanycytes are positioned in the third ventricle, a great place to scan our cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for nutritional contents.

Tanycytes in the brain respond to amino acids found in foods, via the same receptors that sense the flavor of amino acids (umami taste), which are found in the taste buds of the tongue,” said Professor Nicholas Dale from the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences and colleagues.

The researchers added high concentrations of arginine and lysine into… fluorescent brain cells so they could see microscopic reactions.


“These amino acids are found in high concentration in foods such as pork shoulder, beef sirloin steak, chicken, mackerel, plums, apricots, avocados, lentils, and almonds — so eating those foods will activate the tanycytes and make you feel less hungry quicker.”

Within as little as 30 seconds from contact with amino acids, our brains will change to make us no longer feel full.

“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”

So what are you waiting for? Add some amino acid rich foods to your diet today!


  1. http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/neuroscience/tanycytes-control-appetite-05275.html
  2. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212877817305379
  3. Greta Lazutkaite et al. Amino acid sensing in hypothalamic tanycytes via umami taste receptors. Molecular Metabolism, published online September 14, 2017; doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2017.08.015