Blame the Brain for Overeating

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 06, 2014

A recent study has found that one’s brain chemistry makes people notice food easily, which then makes them to overeat even if they are not overweight. The researchers who did the study analysed brain of the healthy, non-obese young men to tell if the activity of dopamine in the striatum region of the brain, which is responsive to food reward.

overeatingResearchers found that dopamine activity linked with how quickly people can notice the picture of food that is hidden among neutral pictures. Those who noticed the food pictures were also observed to eat more.

In general, the burst of dopamine at the time of food rewarding activity is stopped when it is later re-absorbed into the cells that it came from. The re-uptake process needs the brain chemical called dopamine transporter. The participants of the study had to complete a computerized visual attention task to seek exactly how quickly they could detect the pictures of the foods among other neutral pictures. They found that men who had a lower level of DAT tended to have higher dopamine activity, stronger visual attention bias towards foods and detected food picture faster than those who had higher levels of DAT.

Susanne la Fleur from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam in obesity said that the striatal dopamine system is affected, though it is surprising to know that it is involved in motivating, healthy, young individuals to eat.

She added, “We could speculate that in healthy humans dopamine does motivate eating. Thus, a factor in addition to dopamine must be involved in going from being motivated to actual eating”.

Article source: thehealthsite
Image source: Getty
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