DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.11.16195

Diet, drugs, and the brain: Is ultra-processed food a gateway to addiction?


Abstract


 Foods that are rich in fats ans sugars are pleasurable because they stimulate our reward circuits, the same ones that are activated by drugs. In a context in which unhealthy diets and drug abuse are common from adolescence, it is important to investigate its consequences. This article reviews the relationship between especially tasty food, our brain’s reward system, and drug use. Studies with animal models have proved that an intermittent high-fat diet during adolescence increases the consumption of cocaine and ethanol. Recent research shows the fundamental role of the diet in the development and treatment of addictions. 


Keywords


high-fat diet; sugar; pleasure; addiction; drugs

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