Science explains why we crave sugar and fat so much

Understand why we overeat unhealthy food This riddle was difficult to solve. While we know the power of food influences our choices, the exact circuitry in our brains behind it is unclear, scientists explain. He nervus vagus sends internal sensory information from the gut to the brain about the nutritional value of food. But the molecular basis of reward in the brain associated with what we eat is not fully understood.

Now a new study published in Cellular metabolism team from Monella Chemical Senses Center, unravels internal neural pathways, opening up separate pathways for fat and sugar cravings, and has the alarming result that too much of these pathways combine to make us want to eat more than usual.

“Food is nature’s ultimate sustenance,” said a scientist from Monel Guillaume de Lartigue, the lead author of the study, adds: “But it remains a mystery why fats and sugars are particularly attractive. We have now determined that the key factor is the nerve cells in the gut, not the taste cells in the mouth. “We found that fats and sugars engage different pathways between the gut and the brain, which explains why this donut is so irresistible.” Ultimately, this study provides insight into what controls “motivated” eating behavior, suggesting that the subconscious internal desire to consume foods high in fat and sugar may counteract efforts to diet.

Fats and sugars involve different gut-brain pathways, which explains why a donut can be so irresistibleMonel Guillaume de Lartigue

The team used cutting-edge technology to directly manipulate fat or sugar neurons in the vagus nervous system and showed that both types of neurons trigger the release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain in mice. They discovered two vagus nerve pathways dedicated: one for fats, the other for sugars. These circuits, which originate in the gut, transmit information about what we’ve eaten to the brain, setting the stage for food cravings.

To determine how fats and sugars affect the brain, the team stimulated the intestinal vagus nerves with light. This, in turn, prompted the mice to actively seek out stimuli, in this case food, that activated these circuits. The results showed that sugar and fat are sensed by separate vagal neurons and activate parallel but distinct reward circuits to control the reinforcement of specific nutrients.

Double strike on the reward system

But the story doesn’t end there. The team also found that simultaneous activation of fat and sugar chains creates powerful synergy. “It’s like a double whammy for the brain’s reward system,” de Lartigue said. “Even if the total calories consumed from sugar and fat remain the same, the combination of fats and sugars results in a significantly greater release of calories. dopamine and ultimately overeating in mice.”

This discovery sheds light on why dieting can be so difficult.

This discovery sheds light on why dieting can be so difficult. The human brain may be finely programmed to seek out high-fat and high-sugar combinations, regardless of conscious efforts to resist. “The connection between our gut and brain occurs below the level of consciousness,” de Lartigue said. “We may crave these foods without even realizing it.”

Targeting and regulating gut-brain reward circuits may offer a new approach to limiting unhealthy eating habits.

The team predicts that this line of research offers hope for future development of strategies and obesity treatment. Targeting and regulating gut-brain reward circuits may offer a new approach to limiting unhealthy eating habits. “Understanding the circuitry of our innate motivation to consume fat and sugar is the first step to changing it,” de Lartigue said. “This study opens up exciting possibilities for personalized interventions that can help people make healthier choices even when faced with tempting treats.”

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