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 Obesity and The Brain

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Number of posts : 122
Age : 34
Registration date : 2008-05-15

PostSubject: Obesity and The Brain   Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:16 pm

As most of us get into middle age we might take special notice of our bodyís ability to keep a few extra pounds around the waist. Most of us understand the

importance of eating healthy and the disease risk associated with extra weight around the belly.
Recent research suggests the brainís ability to sense gratification may be critical to overeating behavior. We may have a gene that assists us with knowing

when we are filled after eating. Research now indicates that a brain that does not express satiation will lead to continued eating and increased risk of


We know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are very important for maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding obesity. However, genetics also plays a role

in which an important neurochemical, Dopamine, may play a critical role. Dopamine is the primary neurochemical that regulates our pleasure sensation.

Eating temporarily boosts dopamine levels, but obesity may be associated with fewer Dopamine receptors which lead to less sensation of pleasure with eating.

Research now suggests that the brain regions important to Dopamine expression when eating treats such as a milkshake does not get activated in those who are


Interestingly, Dopamine has been studied as a primary mechanism for addiction and impulsive behavior including eating. Attempts are underway to try and

understand how Dopamine might be triggered even in obesity to reduce impulsive eating so as to reduce gaining more weight.

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