Scientists have long known that calorie restriction increases longevity in animals but at an evolutionary cost - the animals become infertile. Yale University researchers report in the September 21 to 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have discovered the molecular switch in the brain that turns off the reproductive system in times of severe hunger. The same molecule also may play a key role in obesity, drug addiction and depression.
The scientists found that a peptide active in the hypothalamus called melanin-concentrating hormone or MCH can inactivate the reproductive system in times of hunger.
Yale Researchers Explain Why Hunger Triggers Infertility