Eating Triggers Release of Endogenous Opioids in Human Brain, Study Reveals

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According to Breaking Science News

A recent study conducted at the University of Turku, Finland, has revealed that eating leads to the widespread opioid release in the human brain, likely signaling feelings of satiety and pleasure. The research is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Eating both bland (left panel) and delicious (right panel) meals triggered significant opioid release in the brain. Image credit: University of Turku.

Professor Lauri Nummenmaa and co-authors used positron emission tomography (PET) to test whether eating triggers the release of the body’s own opioids, called endorphins, and whether this response is associated with pleasant feelings.

The participants were injected with a radioactive compound binding to their brain’s opioid receptors.

Radioactivity in the brain was measured three times with the PET camera: after a palatable meal (pizza), after a non-palatable meal (nutritional drink) and after an overnight fast.

“Opioids are associated with pleasure and euphoria,” Professor Nummenmaa and colleagues said.

“Our study revealed that a significant amount of endorphins is released in the entire brain after eating the pizza and, surprisingly, even more are released after the consumption of the tasteless nutritional drink.”


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This article and images were originally posted on [Breaking Science News] August 29, 2017 at 05:50AM

Credit to Author and Breaking Science News