Researchers at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute studied the underlying gut-brain connection behind cravings for fatty foods. The study is published in the journal Nature.
The researchers explored how mice respond to dietary fats, including lipids and fatty acids. They measured brain activity in mice while giving the animals fat. They also used a drug to block the activity of the cells associated with fatty foods craving.
The results revealed that the connection between gut and brain drives fat cravings. In fact, the fat entering the intestines activates a specific gut-brain circuit that communicates to the brain the presence of intestinal sugar. This signal in the brain drives a desire for fatty foods.
The study raises the possibility of formulating health interventions that would interfere with this gut-brain connection and prevent cravings for fatty foods. This can address the growing global health crisis caused by problematic eating behaviors and obesity.
One of the lead researchers, Dr. Zuker, elaborated: “The overconsumption of cheap, highly processed foods rich in sugar and fat is having a devastating impact on human health. The better we understand how these foods hijack the biological machinery underlying taste and the gut-brain axis, the more opportunity we will have to intervene.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Li, M., Tan, H. E., Lu, Z., Tsang, K. S., Chung, A. J., & Zuker, C. S. (2022). Gut-Brain Circuits for Fat Preference. Nature, 10.1038/s41586-022-05266-z. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-05266-z