Previous studies concluded the signals in the brain causes us to overeat. However, this new study is the first to find overeating may be driven by a "peripheral endocannabinoid signaling", the signal generated in other parts of the body, not the brain.
Endocannabinoid system is a group of lipid signaling molecule. So called because it is thought to be "natural marijuana" body and its receptors. These receptors control many physiological processes including food intake, energy balance and awards.
Researchers from University of California Riverside said, excessive eating foods rich in sugar and fat increase endocannabinoid signaling as "reward system" to be triggered.
To test this theory, a study examined the mice fed a "western diet" and the other group was given a diet low in fat and sugar.
Over 60 days, the mice "Western diet" with rapid weight gain and obesity. These mice also showed "hyperphagia", meaning they consume more calories and servings larger with higher levels of intake (calories per minute). The mice were obese experienced a highly increased levels of endocannabinoids in the small intestine and blood circulation.
The researchers were able to overcome the effects of the use of drugs to menghalangsi endocannabinoid action. This causes the food intake and diet in obese mice became normal to the level found in rats fed a diet low in fat and sugar.
Although further studies are needed to see the response of the human body, researchers are planning further examine the materials specific diet that may be on the Western diet that trigger overeating.
"We do not just use drugs to combat obesity. If we can figure out the components in the Western diet as fat and sugar that lead to overeating, maybe we can implement a form of dietary intervention and include it in your diet everyday," said Dr. DiPatrizio.