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Over-consumption of sugar during adolescence alters brain’s reward circuits: Study

A homeless man is silhouetted as he eats his meal under a bridge in Metro Manila April 26, 2009. REUTERS/John Javellana (PHILIPPINES SOCIETY)
A homeless man is silhouetted as he eats his meal under a bridge in Metro Manila April 26, 2009. REUTERS/John Javellana (PHILIPPINES SOCIETY)

Washington: Long-term impacts of over-consumption of sugary foods during adolescence can be studied with the help of a recent study conducted on rats.

The study showed that the enjoyment of such foods later in adulthood is reduced in those who over-consumed early in life.

Investigators found that this decrease in reward relates to reduced activity in one of the key hubs of the brain’s reward circuitry, called the nucleus accumbens. Such long-lasting alterations could have important implications for reward-related disorders such as substance abuse or eating disorders.

Senior author Dr. Martine Cador said that inspite of the dramatic increase in the consumption of sweet palatable foods during adolescence in our modern societies, the long-term consequences of such exposure on brain reward processing remain poorly understood.

The research is published in the European Journal of Neuroscience study. (ANI)

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