Ghrelin gene changes linked to sugar consumption and alcohol addiction.

sugarA neuropeptide called Ghrelin activates the brain’s and increases appetite. In a study published in the journal researchers examined 579 individuals chosen from the general public.

The study found that people with changes in the ghrelin gene consumed more sugar than their who do not have these changes. This link was also seen in people who consumed large amounts of both sugar and alcohol.

In rat trials when ghrelin was blocked the rats reduced their of sugar and were less motivated to hunt for sugar.

“This shows that ghrelin is a strong driver when it comes to tracking down rewarding substances such as sugar or alcohol,” said researcher Elisabet Jerlhag from the Sahlgrenska Academy’s Department of Pharmacology.

Previous from the same researchers revealed that substances that block the ghrelin system reduce the positive effects of addictive drugs and changes in the ghrelin gene are associated with high alcohol , weight gain in alcoholics and smoking.

Source

Sara Landgren, Jeffrey A. Simms, Dag S. Thelle, Elisabeth Strandhagen, Selena E. Bartlett, J├Ârgen A. Engel, Elisabet Jerlhag. The Ghrelin Signalling System Is Involved in the of Sweets. , 2011; 6 (3): e18170 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018170

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