Food Addiction and Obesity
Most of us don’t need a scientific study to confirm that eating chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream can momentarily wash our cares away. However, a new study on the effects of the chemical dopamine shows that many of the high-calorie foods we love are causing dopamine to be released in our brains, which helps us to feel pleasure and reward.
The study not only demonstrated the link between dopamine and food addiction, which can lead to the onset of obesity – a fact that researchers have known for some time. It also showed that the effect of dopamine on brain cells is associated with cellular memory.
Scientists have observed that memories are actually formed in relation some sort of stimuli that we find rewarding. This is what helps people remember where they can go to find rewarding experiences in the future.
And it is this important clue that can help scientists to better understand dopamine as one of the underlying causes of obesity and addiction.
People who suffer from food addiction have an underlying psychological problem that isn’t going to go away with any type of weight loss surgery. This means that gaining an improved understanding of the connection between the brain and the body can aid researchers in developing treatments that can specifically target the onset and development of medical conditions such as obesity and addiction.
Another important finding in the study showed that dopamine produced measurable levels of excitability in the brain. The chemical also produced a biological pathway that caused a memory to be formed where a particular reward was found.
The researchers also found that the brain chemical called Neuropeptide Y (NPY) was responsible for blocking pleasurable mind-body associations, and had the power to stop the brain’s formation of memories of rewards, and where they could be located.
Obesity and its associated problems were the focus of the study, and these findings have produced some important discoveries, according to the researchers involved in the work. As one scientist noted, people are able to find the refrigerator in their sleep, as they know that it’s a place where rewarding sensations exist. And this study has helped to untangle the reasons for this simple, yet very complex connection.
With an improved understanding of the brain’s learning process and how it forms memories that are triggered by rewards, there is greater potential for dealing medically with addictions to food and drugs. Scientists can now focus on treatment methods that involve disconnecting the memory of a place from the positive feelings of the stimuli that were encountered there.
For more information on medical weight loss and bariatric surgery options visit National Bariatric Link which is a free advocay organization to assist in finding the right bariatric clinic in your area.