Researchers at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany explained why people tend to overeat. This study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
According to the EurekAlert portal, this fact is associated with the release of dopamine, a hormone that causes a feeling of pleasure, to the brain. Experts suggest that the release of this hormone occurs twice during the meal: when food is swallowed and when it reaches the stomach.
Two peaks of dopamine release
“With the help of the new positron emission tomography technology that we developed, we not only managed to detect two peaks of dopamine release, but also identify specific areas of the brain that were associated with these emissions,” he said. The lead author of the study is Mark Tittgemeier.
The study involved 12 volunteers, some of whom received a tasty drink, while others – a tasteless solution. Analyzing the data, scientists have found that the greater the desire for a tasty drink, the less dopamine is released when food is already in the stomach.
“On the one hand, dopamine release reflects our subjective desire to consume food, and on the other hand, our desire seems to suppress the release of dopamine caused by the intestines,” said another researcher, Heiko Bakes.
Thus, the study showed that the suppression of the release of dopamine caused by the intestines, can lead to overeating the desired products. "We continue to eat until enough dopamine is released," concluded Bakes.