A new study sheds light on the neurobiology of cravings for certain foods women experience while pregnant. According to researchers, during pregnancy, the brain undergoes alterations to functional connections in the reward systems, as well as taste and sensorimotor centers. Pregnant females become more sensitive to sweet foods and develop binge eating behaviors toward high-calorie foods. Pregnancy induces a full reorganization of the mesolimbic neural circuits via D2R dopaminergic neurons in the nucleus accumbens.
FGF21, a hormone created in the liver in response to increased levels of sugar, acts in the brain to suppress sugar intake and controls the preference for sweet-tasting foods.
Spending time in nature can help reduce the strength and frequency of cravings.
From comfort eating to hormonal levels contributing to a desire for sweets, many studies have investigated why women with PMS often crave certain foods. Researchers explore why food cravings may occur, and what can be done to suppress them for women with premenstrual syndrome.
People who consume coffee regularly have enhanced sensitivity to odors associated with caffeine. Those who drink more than 4 cups a day can identify the smell of coffee faster, and at weaker concentrations than those who drink less daily.
Pleasant olfactory cues hold promise for helping to curb the urge to smoke in those who are quitting. Exposure to olfactory cues reduced symptoms of cravings, with effects lasting up to five minutes following exposure.
According to researchers, the ambient scent of foods can help to reduce cravings and satisfy the appetite.
In addition to having implications for personal health, sugar sweetened drinks may have addictive properties, researchers report. The study found when abstaining from drinking sweetened drinks, people who consume them often experience increased headaches, decreased motivation and a lower ability to concentrate.
Researchers have engineered a new enzyme that breaks down nicotine in the bloodstream before it reaches the brain. The treatment reduces the urge to smoke and reverses signs of nicotine dependence, preventing relapse.
A new study reports altering activity in the amygdala can eliminate cravings for sweet foods. Researchers believe the findings could help develop new treatments for eating disorders.
According to a new NYU study, people are willing to pay more money for unhealthy foods when craving them. Additionally, we are willing to pay disproportionately more for bigger portion sizes of the foods we crave.
Silencing pyramidal neurons in the infralimbic cortex made rats more likely to relapse than those that underwent withdrawal from cocaine. The findings support growing evidence that the infralimbic cortex plays a vital role in suppressing addictive behaviors.