22 April 2013

A Taste of Beer Triggers "Reward" Chemical In Brain

Why doesn't anyone ever ask me to do things like this?

Forty-nine 24 year old men at the University of Indiana were given a tablespoon of beer or Gatorade every 15 minutes and had their brain scanned using positron emission tomography, looking for signs of dopamine release. (The small amount of beer would not have enough alcohol to affect the brain scan.) There were signigicantly higher dopamine levels in the men who received beer versus those who had Gatorade, even though many preferred the taste of Gatorade over beer. The result suggests that this reponse could be a hereditary risk factor for alcoholism. in other words, if there's alcoholism in your family, you will produce more dopamine.

According to one story, "Dopamine has long been associated with substance craving, with anecdotal evidence suggesting it can be triggered by the sound, sight or smell of a pub."

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:00

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