Research finds link between dopamine and obesity

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have added to the store of knowledge linking dopamine to obesity. A brain-imaging study revealed that the fat rats had lower levels of dopamine D2 receptors than lean rats. The lower levels of dopamine indicate that fat people eat more in order to achieve the kind of "feel good" response delivered by dopamine. "Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters modulating the reinforcing properties of food," reads the report.

To study the impact of dopamine, the researchers divided up mice into two groups. One group received an unlimited amount of food and the second group was given 70 percent of the amount of food provided to the first group. Dopamine receptor levels fell with age, though researchers noted that the levels fell more slowly among the group on a restricted diet.

- take a look at this release
- here's the report from the CBC on the research

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