Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have explained why people tend to overeat. The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
According to the EurekAlert portal, this fact is related to the release of dopamine in the brain, a hormone that produces a sensation of pleasure. Experts suggest that the release of this hormone occurs twice during food consumption: when food is digested and when it reaches the stomach.
Two peaks of dopamine release
"With the help of the new positron emission tomography technique that we developed, we not only managed to find two peaks of dopamine release, but also identified specific areas of the brain associated with this release," he said. The lead author of the study, Marc Tittgemeyer.
The study involved 12 volunteers, some of whom received delicious drinks and others as bland solutions. When analyzing the data, the scientists determined that the greater the desire for delicious drinks, the less the amount of dopamine released when food was in the stomach.
"On the one hand, the release of dopamine reflects our subjective desire to consume food, and on the other hand, our desire seems to suppress the release of dopamine caused by the intestine," said another researcher, Heiko Backes.
Therefore, this study concludes that suppression of dopamine release caused by the intestine can cause us to overeat highly desirable products. "We continue to eat until enough dopamine is released," Backes concluded.