A Gene for Sweet Cravings

Feel the need to eat chocolate when under pressure? You might be able to blame it on your genes, specifically a gene in the brain that responds to stress. This gene, when active, brings out your anxiety and as well as bringing about metabolic changes that tell your body to burn sugar, rather than fat. The same metabolic changes reduce insulin sensitivity in muscles, raising sugar levels in the blood, and causing the pancreas to churn out more insulin. According to the Institute scientists who revealed the gene's function, if the constant stress of daily life keeps this gene overworked, the result could be metabolic disease, obesity and diabetes.

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These news were released over five months ago.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 06 Oct 2010 #permalink

True. But next week's PNAS will have a paper on the next stage of this research. (That's all I can say about it at this point. Read the article.)

Just wondering if there are some natural "remedies" for reducing those sweet cravings mid-day or for reducing hunger levels in general.

By brownmaria (not verified) on 17 Oct 2010 #permalink

I found this study extremely interesting, however there are not as many details as I would have liked. How exactly did they go about the study? I agree with Nofutur, I would like to know the emotional regulation of this test. And are there any more details? As a person who frequently goes through stress and has a major sweet tooth, Iâd like to read more on this!

This answers many questions Iâve had over the years such as why I eat chocolate when Iâm stressed or why ice cream is the only thing that can get me to bed on stressful nights. Do you think this may also be one of the reasons why people chew gum during hard tests or while writing important papers? I also understand why this is causing diabetes and obesity because if someone is being bullied on the playground for being overweight, their bodies might tell them to eat more sugar which can just add to their problems. Also, with all of the academic pressure put on our generation, itâs no wonder why the percent of obese Americans is rising year by year.

I agree with these findings as I have experienced this in my friend's family. All of the females in his family have an intense love for sweet things. So much that one of his aunt's has been diagnosed with diabetes after long years of unhealthy snacking. This study proves that, just like cancer and many other genetically transmitted diseases, a love for sweets can also be transmitted through genes and could cause many problems if not kept under control.

By Alri Richter (not verified) on 01 Apr 2015 #permalink