The research has revealed the mechanism that regulates fluid intake in the body. It stops us from over-drinking.
The results show that the brain activate a ‘swallowing inhibition’ after consuming excess liquid. It helps us maintain tightly calibrated volumes of water in the body.
“Drinking too much water in the body puts it in danger of water intoxication or hyponatremia, when vital levels of sodium in the blood become abnormally low potentially causing symptoms ranging from lethargy and nausea to convulsions and coma,” the authors said.
The research showed the right prefrontal areas of the brain actived when participants were trying to swallow with much effort. It suggests the frontal cortex steps in to override the swallowing inhibition.
“If we just do what our body demands us to we’ll probably get it right,” Dr. Farrell said.
Pascal Saker et al. Overdrinking, swallowing inhibition, and regional brain responses prior to swallowing. PNAS, published online October 10, 2016; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1613929113