Putting the brakes on overeating

Restoring a chemical in the gut sends a message to mouse brains to stop overeating

By Stephen Ornes, 14:47 PM September 4, 2013

When people eat high-fat foods, the gut sends a signal to the brain. The brain responds by releasing dopamine, a pleasure chemical. But too much fat causes this connection to backfire. Scientists recently uncovered why and a way to fix the problem in mice. Credit: National Cancer Institute

Eating right can be a big challenge — especially with delicious, high-calorie foods all around. When those calories come from foods high in fat, the gut will reward the diner with a message to the brain that triggers feelings of pleasure. But eating lots of fatty foods can cause this pleasure-signaling pathway to fail. People with this problem tend to respond by eating more to make up for that loss, some research suggests. As a result, they are more likely to become obese. Scientists worki...

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