Navigation Links
Genetic changes behind sweet tooth
Date:4/4/2011

The substance ghrelin plays an important role in various addictions, such as alcoholism and binge-eating. It also impacts on sugar consumption, which is due, in part, to genetic factors, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Ghrelin is a neuropeptide that both activates the brain's reward system and increases appetite. This means that when we are hungry, levels of ghrelin increase, activating the brain's reward system, and this, in turn, increases our motivation to look for food. Previous research from the Sahlgrenska Academy has linked ghrelin to the development of various dependencies, such as drug addiction and alcoholism.

In a new study published in the online version of the journal Plos One, researchers examined the genes of 579 individuals chosen from the general public. It emerged that people with certain changes in the ghrelin gene consume more sugar than their peers who do not have these changes. This link was also seen in people who consumed large amounts of both sugar and alcohol.

Trials have also been carried out using rats, where the researchers found that when ghrelin was blocked the rats reduced their consumption of sugar and were less motivated to hunt for sugar.

"This shows that ghrelin is a strong driver when it comes to tracking down rewarding substances such as sugar or alcohol," says researcher Elisabet Jerlhag from the Sahlgrenska Academy's Department of Pharmacology.

These results go hand in hand with the researchers' previous findings which showed that substances that block the ghrelin system reduce the positive effects of addictive drugs and that changes in the ghrelin gene are associated with high alcohol consumption, weight gain in alcoholics and smoking.

The researchers are now a step closer to understanding what happens in the brain and the body in different types of addictive behavior. Understanding these mechanisms means that new drugs can be developed to block the ghrelin system and used to treat patients who are addicted to alcohol or who suffer from binge-eating disorders.

"This knowledge could also make it easier for society to view dependency as an illness and could mean that these people can get the treatment they need more readily," says Jerlhag.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elisabet Jerlhag
elisabet.jerlhag@pharm.gu.se
46-031-786-3418
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Anna-Kaisa Niemi awarded 2011 Genzyme/ American College of Medical Genetics Foundation Fellowship
2. Zimmerman receives Richard King Trainee Award for best publication in genetics in medicine
3. Do you own your genetic identity?
4. An ancestral link between genetic and environmental sex determination
5. UC Riverside geneticists to study how plants adapt to a changing environment
6. MARC Travel Awards announced for GSA 26th Fungal Genetics Meeting
7. New data published in Nature Genetics demonstrate that tiny LNA-based compounds developed by Santaris Pharma A/S inhibit entire disease-associated microRNA families
8. Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center launches online genetic research tool
9. Genetic analysis reveals history, evolution of an ancient delicacy -- morels
10. New advances in genetic studies of Fanconi anemia patients
11. For first time, scientists show an HIV vaccine impacts the genetic makeup of the virus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... ,The global gait biometrics market is expected to ... period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple ... used to compute factors that are not or ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016   ... the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release ... soon to be launched online site for trading 100% ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a sense of ... to an industry that is notorious for fraud. The ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 ... kombiniert im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ... heute bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro ... insbesondere aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... Foresight Institute , a ... winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. , These prestigious prizes, ... one for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. Prof. Markus J. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Korean researchers say Manumycin A triggers apoptosis, ... new way to treat the disease. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on ... several Korean institutions based their mesothelioma study on the fact the Manumycin A, a ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... 19, 2016 There is no ... given the relentless pressures in pricing and lack in ... investors circle though - numerous opportunities are up for ... session, ActiveWallSt.com,s presents four names in this sector: Portola ... Inc. (NASDAQ: VTAE ), Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... ... Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today announced that the Angel Capital Association ... Summit last week in Philadelphia. , The award recognizes the single-most ingenious ... is the highest honor available for an early-stage company to receive from the Angel ...
Breaking Biology Technology: