Pleasure centre of our brain that produces dopamine hormone and our biological clock that regulates physiological rhythms could be linked, a study revealed. The study also suggested that eating high calorie foods, that bring pleasure, tend to disrupt normal feeding schedules- which results in over-consumption. The study was published in the journal Current Biology.
The team of researchers led by Ali Güler, Professor of biology at University of Virginia, revealed that mice that were fed a diet comparable to a wild diet in calories and fats maintained normal eating and exercise schedules and proper weight. But mice fed high-calorie diets with high fats and sugars began “snacking” at all hours and became obese.
Additionally, so-called “knockout” mice that had their dopamine signaling disrupted – meaning they didn’t seek the rewarding pleasure of the high-fat diet – maintained a normal eating schedule and did not become obese, even when presented with the 24/7 availability of high-calorie feeds.
“We’ve shown that dopamine signaling in the brain governs circadian biology and leads to consumption of energy-dense foods between meals and during odd hours,” said Guler.
“The diet in the US and other nations has changed dramatically in the last 50 years or so, with highly processed foods readily and cheaply available at any time of the day or night,” said Guler.
Researchers said that many of these foods were laden in sugar, carbs and calories which makes for an unhealthy diet when consumed regularly over many years. Obesity is a propeller of many diseases, which ultimately calls for higher health costs and an intense medical care for individuals.
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