The researchers explain to us what happens in our brain that leads us to want to eat high-calorie food when we have drunk a lot of alcohol. To reach this conclusion, they analyzed the effects of alcohol and fatty food on mice. Let's see what they have discovered and how it will help them study obesity and alcoholism.
Scientists have discovered why after we have drunk a lot of alcohol then we want to eat very caloric food like fast food: the cause would be in our brain where alcohol and food share a specific circuit. Let's look in detail at the research of Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine which explains what happens in our brain when we are altered by alcohol.
Alcohol and ‘junk' food
After an alcoholic evening, often happens that we desire to eat french fries with a kilo of mayonnaise? This association between alcohol and ‘junk' food, or simply very fatty food, is widespread and scientists have wondered why. To answer this question they analyzed the behavior of three groups of mice:
A group, called "very fat diet", was given unlimited access to very fatty foods and limited access to water mixed with alcohol (for four hours a day, four days a week)
A group called "normal diet" was given a regular diet typical of rodents and limited access to alcohol.
A group, called the "binge diet" (from binge eating behavior), has been given limited access to very fatty foods alternated with a typical diet of rodents and limited access to alcohol.
During the experiment, the researchers increased the amount of alcohol in water by 10 to 20% in eight weeks. And all the animals had the possibility of unlimited access to pure water.
The data collected showed that members of the ‘binge diet' group tended to gain weight and lose weight and they drank more alcohol than water. As for the other groups, both drank less alcohol than the ‘diet binge’ group. But why?
What happens in the brain
According to experts, junk food and alcohol are linked by a specific brain activation that could help understand how to deal with health problems such as alcoholism and obesity.