Print 50 comment(s) - last by JPForums.. on Sep 27 at 2:43 PM

  (Source: Times of India)
Now we can finally acknowledge we have a cocoa problem

Perhaps it's time to add chocolate alongside alcohol and tobacco to the lists of legal drugs in America.

A new study by University of Michigan neuroscience student Alexandra DiFeliceantonio chronicles how chocolate locks the rodent brain into a cycle of addiction, joy, and despair, much like other drugs.

She found that during consumption of M&Ms rats produced a naturally occurring (endogenous) opioid-receptor binding compound called enkephalin.  The compound binds to similar reward circuitry as notoriously addictive drugs such as a heroine and morphine.  The enkephalin levels primarily spiked in an inner region of the brain called the neostriatum.

Why is this important?  She explains that this region of the brain is linked to addiction in humans, commenting, "The same brain area we tested here is active when obese people see foods and when drug addicts see drug scenes.  It seems likely that our enkephalin findings in rats mean that this neurotransmitter may drive some forms of overconsumption and addiction in people."

Natural genetic variation may lead some people to become more severely addicted to chocolate than others, too, the study indicates.  When dosed with extra enkephalin -- similar to the case of a genetic-based overproduction -- the rodents gobbled down twice as many M&Ms, throwing reserve to the wind.

Rat w/ M&M
Rats show signs of chemical addiction when fed chocolate. [Image Source: Alexandra DiFeliceantonio]

In the human brain, enkephalins have been linked to risky behavior and thoughts of desire.

She writes in the study that the chocolate-triggered compound may be responsible for "generating intense pathological levels of motivation to overconsume."  In other words, maybe that's why you couldn't stop yourself at half your chocolate candy bar or put down that jumbo-sized bag of peanut M&Ms after the suggested serving was consumed.

Chocolate circuitry
Chocolate triggers opioid pathways in the rodent brain. [Image Source: Current Biology]

While some may take news of their chocolate addiction quite badly, Ms. DiFeliceantonio suggests that by better understanding its addictive role on neurochemicals researchers can help people break self-destructive "systems" of overconsumption that exist in the brain.

The new research is published [abstract] in the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology.

Sources: U of M [via Eurekalert], Current Biology

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RE: Not a pure test of chocolate...
By Schrag4 on 9/25/2012 1:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
It seems your both missing the point. The point is that yes sugar and corn syrup can make people fat, but that's their choice. If someone likes eating lots of unhealthy food more than they like looking good and living longer, who are you to stop them? Isn't the crowd that says that women should be free to do whatever they want to their body the same as the crowd saying women (and men) shouldn't be able to ingest high amounts of sugar and corn syrup? (libs who are likely to be pro-abortion and pro-govt-enforced dietary restrictions, Mr. Bloomberg for example)

Also, by-and-large guns really don't just go off by themselves. There are dozens of stories of guns "just going off" in the hands of police. The truth is that these people either pulled the trigger unintentionally (finger on trigger while holstering, tried to catch a dropped gun) or they didn't double-check to make sure it wasn't loaded before doing so. They then report that they gun just went off without them doing anything - a lie.

Either way, IMO the answer isn't banning "dangerous" inanimate objects, it's educating people who might use them about their risks and then letting them decide what level of risk they're comfortable with. I wouln't even go that far though - it's up to people to educate themselves about what they're eating or whatever. If you don't know what's it in or what it might do to you, why are you eating it?

...and yes, I'm suggesting that for every police officer who knows how to properly handle a firearm there are several that barely qualify with and really don't know how to safely handle firearms.

RE: Not a pure test of chocolate...
By Dr of crap on 9/25/2012 2:07:56 PM , Rating: 3
So you're OK with subszing the healthcare costs of the type 2 diebetics because they can eat whatever they want and get as fat as they want?

I'd also guess everyone knows the "dangers" of eating to much and eating to much sugary stuff. Yet everyone wants gratification now and can't wait and has no self control. And since we know have a lazy society, you have overly fat as the norm.

Maybe we should ask those that are way over weight to pay more for health costs, just as we add on to smokers heath costs?

Your answer to this problem?

By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2012 5:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, higher risk groups should pay more fore insurance, any kind of insurance. Bad part is that poor people are much more likely to be fat.

RE: Not a pure test of chocolate...
By bah12 on 9/25/2012 5:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
Your answer to this problem?
Insuranrce rates based on BMI? I chuckle at the high fructose retards...too funny. It's not the corn syrup its the fork in fatty's hand. You know how I know this without having to run a bunch of "studies", because stomache reduction surgery works. Surgically remove the pigs ability to stuff their face, and he/she will lose weight. Imagine that eat less, lose weight.

RE: Not a pure test of chocolate...
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/26/2012 6:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
Except, the surgery doesn't mean they will keep the weight off. It's a stop gap. My cousin, many many years ago, was HUGE, over 500 pounds, she had the surgery, she didn't stay that way, she is BIGGER now then she was when she had the surgery.

By JPForums on 9/27/2012 2:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think he was talking about stomach (as in the organ) reduction surgery, not liposuction. This severely limits how much you can eat. It can stretch back out, but to a more limited extent. If this is the type of surgery your cousin had, then she has an impressive determination to be overweight.

By JPForums on 9/27/2012 2:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
I chuckle at the high fructose retards...too funny. It's not the corn syrup its the fork in fatty's hand.
Actually high fructose corn syrup does affect your body more negatively than sugar. That said, it is still overeating that is the problem. You just have to put down the spoon little sooner than with sugar.

RE: Not a pure test of chocolate...
By Schrag4 on 9/25/2012 5:36:52 PM , Rating: 3
Your answer to this problem?

My answer is that I shouldn't be paying for my neighbor's healthcare costs. Is your idea of premiums being based on overall health supposed to be somehow radical? It's how literally every other insurance works - higher risk drivers pay more, for instance.

By JPForums on 9/27/2012 2:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
So you're OK with subszing the healthcare costs of the type 2 diebetics because they can eat whatever they want and get as fat as they want?
He just blasted a major point of hypocrisy in the far left wing in the first paragraph and you are seriously going to assume he subscribes to the left wing philosophy of subsidizing others health care.
Dietary control is only "needed" if you assume that we should be subsidizing others healthcare costs in the first place. If you can't convince the person you are talking to that we should be subsidizing others healthcare in the first place, then the rest of you statements will hold no weight with said person.
You didn't even make a case for subsidizing others healthcare. You just assumed compliance with your ideal and demonstrated how poorly thought out the suggestion was (given compliance to your ideal). This is the type of thought process (typical of the far left) that gives more moderate Democrats a bad name (to Republicans). Whether you agree with the far left or not, I'm thoroughly convinced Republicans would take Democrats more seriously if they weren't controlled by leaders who often present counter arguments based on faulty assumptions rather than fully thought out cases.

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