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High-fat, High-sugar Foods Alter Brain Receptors

Date:
August 6, 2009
Source:
Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
Summary:
Overconsumption of fatty, sugary foods leads to changes in brain receptors, according to new animal research. The results have implications for understanding bulimia and other binge eating disorders.

Overconsumption of fatty, sugary foods leads to changes in brain receptors, researchers find.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dean Turner

Overconsumption of fatty, sugary foods leads to changes in brain receptors, according to new animal research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The new research results are being presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB). The results have implications for understanding bulimia and other binge eating disorders.

Dr. Bello and colleagues report that either continuous eating or binge eating a high fat, high sugar diet alters opioid receptor levels in an area of the brain that controls food intake. Opioids are a family of chemicals with actions similar to those of morphine; however, opioids exist naturally in the brain and have been linked to feelings of pleasure and euphoria. “These results are interesting because we saw changes in opioid receptor gene expression in a brain area that controls how much we eat during a meal”, said Bello.

The new findings suggest that overconsumption of highly palatable foods maintains bingeing by enhancing opioids in the brain, and that increased opioids could be a factor involved in binge eating disorders. These findings may help to understand the biological basis of eating disorders.

This research was supported by NIH DK19302 and DK078484.

The lead author was Nicholas Bello, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Co-authors were F. CASSEUS, M.T. CHUANG, B.A. MITCHELL, Z.W. PATINKIN, P. SINGH, T.H. MORAN. Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Dept. Psychiatry and Behavioral Sci., Baltimore, MD, USA


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The above story is based on materials provided by Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. "High-fat, High-sugar Foods Alter Brain Receptors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727102024.htm>.
Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. (2009, August 6). High-fat, High-sugar Foods Alter Brain Receptors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727102024.htm
Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. "High-fat, High-sugar Foods Alter Brain Receptors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727102024.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

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