Navigation Links
Can't Stop Eating M&Ms?
Date:9/20/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists served M&Ms to rats in an experiment that showed the brain can't resist sweet and fatty foods.

The University of Michigan researchers said the urge to overeat tasty treats comes from an unexpected area of the brain called the neostriatum, which produces an opium-like chemical that enhances such desire and may be partly responsible for overeating among people.

"Previously, people thought this area of the brain was only involved in motor function and learning, but we found it's involved in motivation and generating instant consumption," said lead researcher Alexandra DiFeliceantonio, a graduate student in biopsychology at the university.

This finding might have implications for people, she added, noting that it may be possible in the future to target the area with a drug that could block the impulse to overeat and thus may help people lose weight.

Experts note, however, that results in animal studies often don't translate to humans.

The new report was published Sept. 20 in the journal Current Biology.

For the study, DiFeliceantonio and her colleagues gave lab rats a drug to artificially boost the action of the neostriatum. The animals were then given M&Ms, and proceeded to eat twice as many as they normally would, she said.

"That's the same as a 150-pound human eating seven pounds of M&Ms in an hour," DiFeliceantonio said.

In addition, the researchers noted that the amount of a chemical called enkephalin, produced in the neostriatum, increased when the animals ate the chocolate treats.

It is the increased production of this chemical that increases the desire to overeat sweet and fatty foods, DiFeliceantonio said. When presented with a choice of usual food or M&Ms, the rats with high levels of the chemical consistently ignored their regular food and gorged on chocolates.

Preferring sweet and fatty foods is probably one of the things that helped humans to thrive, said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn.

"We tend to like flavors, such as sweet, that in nature are associated with life-sustaining foods, and tend to dislike flavors, such as bitter, more often associated with toxins," he said.

The impulses that once helped keep our ancestors from starving, however, now may contribute to eating disorders and epidemic obesity, Katz added.

"But the fault here is not with the world within us, which is the same as it ever was," he said. It is with what and how much people eat, which has made the brain's natural functioning "backfire rather badly."

Another expert thinks the research could have implications for addiction and obesity.

Paul Sanberg, director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, said the findings "suggest areas of the human brain that might be looked at for eating disorders or addiction."

More information

For more on obesity, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Alexandra DiFeliceantonio, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Paul Sanberg, Ph.D., professor, neuroscience, director, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Fla.; David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Yale University Prevention Research Center, New Haven, Conn.; Sept. 20, 2012, Current Biology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Only children are significantly more likely to be overweight
2. Marital status, race increase survival rate significantly for Stage III non-small cell lung cancer patients
3. Non-invasive diagnostic imaging costs to Medicare Part B down significantly since 2006
4. Circumcision Benefits Are Significant, Pediatricians Say
5. Renal denervation achieves significant and sustained blood pressure reduction
6. Diagnostic test shows potential to noninvasively identify significant coronary artery disease
7. FDA Cites Possible Source of Cantaloupe-Salmonella Outbreak
8. Research presented at TCT 2012 will have significant impact on interventional cardiology
9. Study: Vaccine targets malignant brain cancer antigens, significantly lengthens survival
10. Greening Vacant Lots May Boost Safety
11. Penn study finds with vacant lots greened, residents feel safer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Can't Stop Eating M&Ms?  
(Date:10/13/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the ... Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian ... On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers ... a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and ... apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans ... frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... The company has developed a suite ... regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula has been developed ... , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy Free, Non-Dairy*, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical ... Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. ... honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... AVACEN Medical , Inc. (AVACEN) announced that Frost & ... Innovation Award for Its fibromyalgia pain management device. The ... market research by Frost & Sullivan,s industry experts. ... product, the AVACEN 100, offers a safe and effective solution ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ... on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today announced ... joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 ... centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help ... the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017   West Pharmaceutical Services, ... solutions for injectable drug administration, today shared the results ... Adapter for improving the intradermal administration of polio vaccines. ... Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by Dr. Ondrej ... Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and recently published in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: