Your Brain on Chocolate

In which rats eat the equivalent of a human eating six pounds of chocolate…

Chocolate box

“Chocolates” © 2011 J. Paxon Reyes CC BY-NC 2.0

You may recall, dear reader, some previous posts relating to chocolate. Fortunately in addition to being unabashed foodies, our library is also pretty full of avid runners, so things balance out, but it does mean that we have a greater probability of sharing any and all studies relating to chocolate.

This study summary (of a U of M team’s publication – go blue!) comes courtesy of The Atlantic‘s Health section. U of M researchers in psychology, chemistry, and pharmacology found that chocolate binges (in rats, but possibly also in humans) released enkephanlin in the brain, which increased the motivation to keep eating. What a vicious cycle! The study also showed more systems in the brain involved in motivation and reward, therefore suggesting new research directions for populations like binge eaters and those with addictions.

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