How sugar and fat work together with the brain to ruin diets, a research suggests
Dieting is difficult because it requires overcoming simultaneous cravings for sugar and fat, according to a study by researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia that was published on Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Researchers discovered that the brain’s unique routes to the gut are how fat and sugar affect the body, which causes a subliminal want to overeat, according to SWNS.
Lead study author Dr. Guillaume de Lartigue described it as “like a one-two punch to the brain’s reward system” in a statement.
“Even if the total calories consumed in sugar and fats stays the same, combining fats and sugars leads to significantly more dopamine release and, ultimately, overeating,” he continued.
The “feel good” hormone is actually a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is produced in the brain.
The Cleveland Clinic claims that overeating is one of the actions that humans are built to seek out because they release dopamine.
It was unknown why fat and sugar, like those in a donut, were so seductive together until now, but according to SWNS, these new results show that fat and sugar have distinct paths from the vagus nerve.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the vagus nerve, which runs from the brainstem to the abdomen, is in charge of processes like digestion.
“Food is nature’s ultimate reinforcer, but why fats and sugars are particularly appealing has been a puzzle,” according to de Lartigue, “We’ve now identified nerve cells in the gut rather than taste cells in the mouth are a key driver.”
In order to conduct this study, scientists activated the vagal nerves of mice using light, and they discovered that this forced the mice to look for food that would activate those particular circuits.
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The authors of the study found that the vagus nerve’s neurons sense both sugar and fat, activating separate but parallel reward circuits.
The mice ate excessively because the fat and sugar circuits were activated. According to scientists, this could help to explain why people unintentionally gravitate toward foods heavy in fat and sugar.
According to de Lartigue, “the communication between our gut and brain happens below the level of consciousness.” “We may be craving these types of food without even realizing it.”
The researchers anticipate that future obesity treatments will be simpler as a result of their results.