Scientist: Junk food creates addiction
Do you belong to those who open a package of biscuits to take a bite, and after a while, empty the whole package? Now there is an explanation for the behavior. Researchers in Canada have shown in a study that junk food kicks in on the reward system.
What happens in the body when the stomach starts to cure and the craving sets in? And what can help us eat just as much as we actually need? The appetite control is largely controlled from the brain, more specifically from the hypothalamus which receives input from the gastrointestinal tract, adipose tissue and from the liver
There has been much debate whether saturated fat is good or bad for us. Saturated fat is found in cookies, biscuits, butter, bacon, sausage, cheese, cream, and palm oil.
More wants even more
In a study done at the University of Montreal in Canada, researchers wanted to investigate what saturated and monounsaturated fats did with the weight and behavior of rats. The researchers were able to demonstrate that saturated fat triggers the reward system in the brain that gives you a kick when eating and that you want even more food. The researchers believe that similar mechanisms are triggered for an addict when he has to increase the dose to get the same kick. In their report, they write that saturated fat affects the brain in the same way as heroin, cocaine, and LSD.
Those who ate saturated fat were blunted
In the study, rats were used and divided into three groups. The first rat group acted as a control group. They were given a lean diet containing approximately equal amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
The other group received a monounsaturated high fat diet, of which 50 percent of the calories came from olive oil.
The third group received a saturated fat diet, and 50 percent of the calories were from palm oil.
The high-fat diet was the same when it came to sugar, proteins, fat, and calories. The animals were allowed to eat as much or as little as they wanted.
After eight weeks, the weight was unchanged, but the behavioral tests indicated a big difference. The signal substance dopamine, which is responsible for reward systems in the brain, was blunted in the group that had eaten a lot of saturated fat.
Adverse effects on the brain
Study author Cecile Hryhorczuk, at the University of Montreal, believes that a high intake of saturated fat can be compared to drug tolerance.
With time, you have to increase the dose to get the same effect. A cake makes you want more.
Their research shows that regardless of weight gain or not, saturated fat can lead to changes in the brain, which in turn leads to mood swings, overeating, and drug abuse.
The study showed that olive oil, which contains monounsaturated fat, does not affect the reward system of the brain.
The researchers say the study is the first of its kind to show that unrestrained intake of saturated fats has adverse effects on the brain.
The study was published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.