If you are one of the people who find it very difficult to resist sugary foods , it may be because your brain faces a challenge very similar to that of drug addicts drugs
Scientific studies have found that the processes of feeding and addiction to illicit substances, such as cocaine and heroin, share common structures within the brain, explained the doctors Azalea Reyes Aguilar and Geraldine Rodríguez Nieto, researchers from the Neuroimaging Laboratory of the Neurobiology Institute of the UNAM, located in Juriquilla Querétaro.
The prefrontal cortex is one of the brain structures that is involved in both mechanisms. This region of brain is in charge of controlling food intake, in addition to many other day-to-day activities.
It also participates in the reward circuit the hypothalamus that controls the hungry and satiety. On the other hand, the ventral tegmental area that is in the mesencephalic region of the brain and is part of the limbic system, related to functions of fear and pleasure.
"All these structures ignite or activate when we are exposed to a food rich in sugars or a drug . These substances stimulate a reward mechanism, "they explained.
Both drugs and sugar stimulate the production of dopamine , a neurotransmitter that is released when we experience pleasurable sensations.
That is the reason that a person eats large quantities of sugary foods without thinking about the consequences for your health and that you prefer this type of food to fruits and vegetables.
"When the man was nomadic, the purpose of the mechanism described above was that ingest glucose, a substance that kept the body with energy, the pleasure circuit will be activated to continually search for food and guarantee the survival of our species "highlighted the Dr. María Guadalupe García Gomar, also a researcher at the Neuroimaging Laboratory of the Neurobiology Institute of the UNAM.
To this biological predisposition, a social factor is added, the publicity of the companies that commercialize this type of food and that constantly send messages that favor or promote a bad diet, he explained.
However, the good news is that, even when every time we consume sugar, we release dopamine and feel pleasure, that does not mean that a person is condemned to be a sweet food addict and to be obese.
There is a neurobiological resource, the prefrontal cortex that can help self-control, and a better choice of what we ingest.