“The rise coincided with an increase in insulin activity, as the insulin processed any food sugars the mice and rats ate. It occurred despite the reabsorption, or reuptake, of dopamine that in other regions of the brain tells an animal that its appetite is satisfied.”
Interestingly, when rodents were fed low-calorie diets, they experienced ten times the sensitivity to increasing insulin levels within the brain. Put differently, dopamine release was triggered among low-calorie rodent dieters after only one-tenth of a rise in insulin levels compared to rats that were fed a standard-calorie diet. Even more interesting, rats that were fed a high-calorie diet had no striatal-region response to insulin. Another thing the researchers discovered was that it does affect food choices. The rats always favored drink rewards paired with an insulin antibody injection that led to intact insulin signaling, instead of a drink paired with a placebo injection, because it led to more dopamine.
This research shows a previously unknown role that insulin plays. They say it may indicate why people might choose to consume high-carb meals that release more insulin. This comes not long after researchers out of the University of Michigan demonstrated cheese is addictive, because the casein in cheese releases opiates during digestion. They found that when cheese is paired with processed carbohydrates, it appears to be even more addictive. Perhaps the new research on insulin’s role in dopamine release might add to the explanation for why people can’t seem to stop eating pizza!
— Neil Floch MD (@NeilFlochMD) October 28, 2015
Dr. Rice went on to explain that when people talk about an insulin-glucose rush, it might really be a dopamine rush they are feeling.
“If our future experiments prove successful, it could confirm our hypothesis that when people refer to an insulin-glucose rush, they may really be referring to a dopamine reward rush. And there are healthy ways to get that by making smart food choices.”
This research is especially important, because in further research the team will see if insulin sensitivities brought on by obesity might be able to be prevented or reversed, according to GEN News.
— DitchTheCarbs (@ditchthe_carbs) October 27, 2015
[Photo via Pixabay]