Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dieting, compulsive eating, and brain stress.

An interesting piece from Cottone et al:
Dieting to control body weight involves cycles of deprivation from palatable food that can promote compulsive eating. The present study shows that rats withdrawn from intermittent access to palatable food exhibit overeating of palatable food upon renewed access and an affective withdrawal-like state characterized by corticotropin-releasing factor-1 (CRF1) receptor antagonist-reversible behaviors, including hypophagia, motivational deficits to obtain less palatable food, and anxiogenic-like behavior. Withdrawal was accompanied by increased CRF expression and CRF1 electrophysiological responsiveness in the central nucleus of the amygdala. We propose that recruitment of anti-reward extrahypothalamic CRF-CRF1 systems during withdrawal from palatable food, analogous to abstinence from abused drugs, may promote compulsive selection of palatable food, undereating of healthier alternatives, and a negative emotional state when intake of palatable food is prevented.

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