July 25, 2011
Cheer Up: A View Of How Fatty Foods Makes You Feel Less Sad
It is well known that there is an intimate relationship between emotional state and food intake "” we choose chocolate over an apple when overworked and stressed and comfort food makes us feel better. A team of researchers, led by Lukas Van Oudenhove, at the University of Leuven, Belgium, has now imaged changes in the brain when healthy nonobese individuals experience sadness. The team found that administration of a fat solution to the stomach attenuated the behavioral and nerve cell responses to sad emotion. These data have clear implications for a wide range of disorders, including obesity, eating disorders, and depression. As noted by Giovanni Cizza and Kristina Rother, at The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, in an accompanying commentary, these data bring to mind the well-known phrase "We are what we eat".