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Food calories - independently of its taste - are directly recognised by the brain, says new research

Authors of the original paper: Albino J. Oliveira-Maia e Ivan E. de Araujo

:: 2008-03-27 Por Catarina Amorim *


We all know how pleasurable it is too eat a chocolate and how difficult it is, once we started, to stop. Scientists know that it is the recognition of its sweet taste in the mouth, activating the brain to produce dopamine – a neurotransmitter associated with strong feelings of pleasure – that leads to a desire for more. But while this hedonistic effect of food in the brain is well known, new research reveals that calories - per se - can do exactly the same. The study, to be published on the 27th of March issue of the journal Neuron, reveals that not only can calories induce dopamine release - independently of food palatability- but also, that this is done through activation of a same brain area responsive to sweet tastes.

*This article is the result of a project for the divulgation of portuguese science""

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