Scientists Find Brain Cells That Trigger Us To Eat Sugar And Fat

According to a new study, scientists have found brain cells that could drive us to eat fat and sugar. Read on. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaUpdated at: Oct 27, 2022 18:53 IST
Scientists Find Brain Cells That Trigger Us To Eat Sugar And Fat

According to a recent study, published in Nature Neuroscience, researchers discovered that a cluster of neurons in the amygdala, which is a part of the brain involved in feeling emotions and decision-making, can also trigger us to eat sugar and fat. While talking to Medical News Today, Alessandro Furlan, assistant professor at the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, one of the study’s authors, said, "The identification of the neuronal substrates mediating overeating could provide new molecular targets for devising new anti-obesity treatments."

brain cells

To conduct the study, the researchers analysed many lab experiments on mice to know about their neuronal behavior. In the first part of experiments, they noted their neural activity as a reaction to eating regular chow or a high-fat diet (HFD) post food restriction. After an HFD, but not chow, the researchers observed higher levels of activity in some neurons in a part of the amygdala called the interstitial nucleus of the posterior limb of the anterior commissure (IPAC). The findings clearly said that some specific neurons of the IPAC may be stimulated after the consumption of palatable food, and not surely an energy deficit.

Also read: Sugar Is Not All Bad, Know Its Benefits For Skin And Health

The researchers also conducted another experiment to check if activating these neurons would also result in overfeeding. They found that 'stimulating' these neurons on increased impacted the mice’s intake of all foods and drinks. But, the impact was more for coconut and olive oil-flavored HFDs and white chocolate than for chow and dark chocolate. Moreover, it was observed that switching the neurons off can result in reduced feeding.

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