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Study: Researchers Find A Brain Circuit Connected To Food Impulsivity

Impulsivity is defined as reacting or responding without thinking. When it comes to food, impulsivity can be a big issue that results in poor food choices, whether out to dinner, at the grocery store, or anywhere else. A new study from the University of Georgia has found a brain circuit linked to food impulsivity that can explain why some people are prone to rash, unhealthy food decisions. Learn about this study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications, to assist your Phentermine 37.5mg-driven weight loss efforts. 

The Brain’s Ability To Say “No”

Brain physiology provides an inside look into overeating compulsions. 

"There's underlying physiology in your brain that is regulating your capacity to say no to (impulsive eating)," said Emily Noble, an assistant professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the paper’s lead author. "In experimental models, you can activate that circuitry and get a specific behavioral response."

A Rat Model

Researchers used rats to study brain cell subsets that create melanin concentrating hormone (MCH), a type of transmitter located in the hypothalamus. The study is the first of its kind to show that MCH plays a role in overeating and similar behaviors. 

"We found that when we activate the cells in the brain that produce MCH, animals become more impulsive in their behavior around food," Noble said.

Rats were required to press levers to obtain “delicious” pellets, and wait 20 seconds between each pellet. If the rodents pressed the levers too soon, they had to wait another 20 seconds to obtain their rewards. The MCH circuit focused on their ability to stop themselves. 

"Activating this specific pathway of MCH neurons increased impulsive behavior without affecting normal eating for caloric need or motivation to consume delicious food," Noble said. "Understanding that this circuit, which selectively affects food impulsivity, exists opens the door to the possibility that one day we might be able to develop therapeutics for overeating that help people stick to a diet without reducing normal appetite or making delicious foods less delicious."
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