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Study finds dopamine, biological clock link to snacking, overeating


Pleasing your body through over-eating has a direct link to the body-clock.

A recent study states that the brain's two areas, one that produces dopamine and the one with the human biological clock system influence each other.

Dopamine is an organic chemical released from the brain to create feelings of joy and happiness.

Thus, junk, street and mostly unhealthy food consisting of higher-calories make one happy and content and can disturb one's regular schedule without even being noticed before it's too late. As a result, overweight and obesity are a compulsion.

But that is not all that comes with happiness through overeating. One can be prone to diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension and even cancer due to poor eating habits.

According to the study, the eating pattern in the United States has worsened in the past 50 years "with highly processed foods readily and cheaply available at any time of the day or night," Ali Guler, a professor of biology at the University of Virginia, said.

"Many of these foods are high in sugars, carbohydrates, and calories, which makes for an unhealthy diet when consumed regularly over many years," he added.

Guler and his co-workers, in the study published in Current Biology on Thursday, described that the portion of our brain that excretes dopamine and the other part determining the human clock are synced.

Guel and his team had used mice to conduct the study and reach the result.

"We've shown that dopamine signalling in the brain governs circadian biology and leads to consumption of energy-dense foods between meals and during odd hours," said Guler.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 11 2020. 16:31 IST